Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., proclaims on its website that it is “a church-related, residential liberal arts college firmly rooted in its Swedish and Lutheran heritage” and its core values are excellence, community, justice, service and faith.
But one senior is wondering just where in those values he can fit a presentation to incoming freshmen that introduces them to the etiquette of having sex in dorm rooms without being interrupted by roommates and a “lesbian” who proclaims, “I like sex. No, I love sex” and tells students, “I am normal.”
The issue has been raised by student Phil Cleary on his Gustavus.campusreform.org website, where he has posted several videos captured at the 2010 orientation for freshman in the class of 2014.
The videos reveal promotions for the homosexual lifestyle: “Follow along and listen quite clear to learn of the wonderful world of the queer.”
The presentation, performed as a series of skits on a stage in a darkened auditorium, explains that “sex” and “gender” are not the same. It includes another character who proclaims, “My atheism is my most important characteristic.”
Gustavus, the website states, is “a community where a mature understanding of the Christian faith and lives of service are nurtured and students are encouraged to work toward a just and peaceful world.”
The college declined to comment to WND on the issue. But a spokesman confirmed that school officials were aware of the videos:
Editor’s Note: The videos contain explicit verbal references to sexual matters, as well as profanity, and are not suitable for all audiences.
In one, the incoming freshmen watch a demonstration of what to do about the thorny problem of roommates when sex in a dorm room is on the agenda.
“You want to put the hat on the door?” she says.
“Not a bad idea,” he says.
A scene follows with a boy and a girl under a blanket on a sofa; the girl shrieks.
Then comes the “roommate” saying, “It’s the fourth time this week. You guys are like farm animals.”
Other characters are “Betty birth control,” who says, “Pop me in so you don’t pop one out.”
Another segment explains the significance and importance of “LGPBBTTQ&A.”
The activities at the school, part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the National Association of Schools of Music, were documented by Cleary, who posted them on the Campus Reform website.
He quoted Lutheran Pastor Rebecca Heber saying, “The content of these videos taken at this year’s freshman orientation at the ELCA’s Gustavus Adolphus College is graphic and, in my opinion, vulgar, appalling, disturbing, tasteless, degrading, and completely unbefitting the sacred trust given to a Christian college and an institution of the ELCA.”
But on Cleary’s website, the school was defended by one former student.
“I can assure you that nothing is being ‘forced’ on anyone,” the graduate said. “The CHOICE to be exposed to a broad, engaging, and sometimes controversial and uncomfortable world outside of one’s hometown begins when the students choose to attend Gustavus.”
Cleary explained incoming students at Gustavus have a “series of orientation and thought reform activities to help them become more acquainted with the ‘college life.'”
“As a freshman student at Gustavus Adolphus College, I recalled numerous students, including me, who were petrified by the extent to which freshmen orientation was actually more like a series of thought reform experiences in which the boundaries of acceptable discourse on campus were shifted in favor of left-wing ideas, values, and culture,” he wrote. “That is why I’ve gone through the trouble of [making the videos.]
“This is propaganda that one might expect be taught in a Gender and Sexuality course at a secular, state institution. However, Gustavus is a Lutheran school in southern Minnesota founded by Swedish immigrants in the 1800s, and these shameful seminars are presented during the first few hours and days that students are on campus before classes even begin,” Cleary wrote in a statement about the issue.
Cleary noted that a “Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Reform on Campus,” by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, warns about “coercive tactics that violate the individual rights of students to intimidate students into abandoning deeply held beliefs so that they will adopt the university’s preferred political stance.”
FIRE leaders were not involved in the Gustavus issue. But they report on their website of a case at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., where an event that alleges to be a “cognitive and emotional intervention” for male college students was mandatory.
The school’s “She Fears You” presentation taught that some views about masculinity will be “no longer acceptable in any way.”
The event brought opposition from students and faculty alike. One, according to FIRE, told Dean of Students Nancy Thompson that there was “no reason” an event with “embedded political content about ‘rape culture’ and ‘social justice’ should be required.”
According to FIRE’s report, “by making programs such as ‘She Fears You’ mandatory and then refusing even to reply to critics … Hamilton College is not only violating freedom of conscience but also is violating the spirit of the Hamilton College State of Community.”
Cleary said he was “traumatized” by the sexually explicit presentation in his freshman year.
“I decided to come back as a senior to get it on tape,” he told WND.
He said the presentations are done by “student organizations” authorized by the school.
As WND reported, the university’s office of residential life was caught requiring students to participate in a program that taught “all whites are racist.”
School officials immediately defended the teaching, but in the face of a backlash from alumni and publicity about its work, the school decided to drop the curriculum, although some factions later suggested its revival.
FIRE, which challenged the Delaware plan, later produced a video explaining how the institution of the university pushed for the teachings, was caught and later backed off: