You'd better Recognize

*I now think I had better preface this post by saying that the views expressed here represent only the views of the author and not the [UW] KC council 6568 or its leadership.*

Blog by request. Badger Tracker asks: “Does anyone know about this situation with UW derecognizing the Knights of Columbus as a student group? Fill us in if you do!”

As the former Grand Knight of the group formerly known as the UW-Knights of Columbus, and as the only member with a blog, I figured I should field this.

The KC council reapplied last May, using the same application as they had used in previous years. This was the response: (thanks to Brad Vogel)

-Hello, Brad-

We have received your application for student organization registration for
the Knights of Columbus Council (UW). In reviewing your application, I have
several questions.

1) In the application under membership requirements you list "Any UW student with an interest in Catholicism." Yet on your website under the How to Join section, you list "Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practicing Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Application blanks are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus."

Per the statement of non-discrimination which you agreed to when you filed the application, student organizations must abide by the following: University policy, as well as Federal, State and City laws, prohibits discrimination by Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, or parental status. University-affiliated groups may not discriminate on these prohibited grounds in selecting or initiating new members, in selecting officers, or in providing any aid, benefit, or service. Most groups receiving funds, office space or other significant assistance from the university are also prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sex in choosing members or providing services. Each student organization is responsible for assuring that its membership procedures and service provision are nondiscriminatory. Do you or would you accept as a member a woman or a person of another faith? Could you also please share an application blank with me.

2) Regarding your membership, how many members are students and how many non-students?

3) How are decisions made? Do you have an advisory or executive board and if so, how many of the board members are students? How many are non-students? How many of your officers or execs are students? How many are non-students?

4) What the requirements to hold an officer or executive level position?

5) Could you also provide further information on how your group is "related to student life"? In addition to the activities of any Knights of Columbus Council, how is the UW Council specifically related to student life?

I look forward to hearing back from you. Thanks. Yvonne

Yvonne Fangmeyer, Director

Student Organization Office


The group then submitted an application for an affiliate group. One without any membership restrictions, allowing women, non-Catholics. This has not been accepted yet.

The issue is the council requirement, established by the Supreme Council laws, that members must be practical Catholics. The University has also derecognized the UW Roman Catholic Foundation on similar claims. The Alliance Defense Fund has taken up the issue with the University, citing precedent. They are arguing that refusing to recognize the KC’s is a violation of their First Amendment rights to speech and association. Their letter to the UW can be found here.

Personally, I agree that the council does violate the University’s anti-discrimination policy. And not giving the group University recognition does not prevent the group from meeting (as we have continued to do all summer). But the proposed affiliate group does not discriminate, so there should be no issue with that. And I actually prefer having an affiliated group as the SRO. It should get more people involved in the activities the KC council does, which is something I think the council needs. So what if it doesn’t result in more official members? The council exists to provide an opportunity for UW students to actually practice their faith, to help others, and to get to know others with similar intentions. And it is my hope that enough female students would be interested that they could form their own “sister group” to the KC council, both linked to the affiliate group.

I have a feeling the University will happily accept the affiliate group proposal, rather than take the issue to court. And that’s probably best for everyone, in my opinion. If you’ve got a better idea, let me know.

*UPDATE: The University of Wisconsin announced that it reached an agreement with the Knights of Columbus yesterday to create a student group open to all students that will be recognized by the University in time for the beginning of Fall semester.

UPDATE: On Thursday, the faculty adviser to the Knights of Columbus denied that an agreement had been reached with the University of Wisconsin.

UPDATE: Later on Thursday, the University apologized for its erroneous announcement of an agreeement with K of C. (Gazette Extra).

UPDATE: Mark Green senses an opportunity to bash Doyle and the UW regents.


Sore Loserman

You have to admit it fits. Sen. Lieberman (D), Connecticut, has lost to Ned Lamont. Lieberman’s plans? Run against Lamont again in November. Maybe he will be able to build enough Joementum by then. I doubt it, though. If he does run again, and he loses again, the state of Connecticut should force him to find some way to repay every citizen in the state for wasting a year of their lives.

Also worth noting, the Connecticut state website used for monitoring the results has crashed. Could some of Lieberman’s supporters have intentionally crashed the site to keep Joe from officially losing? I think it’s probably because the election has brought a lot of interest and a lot of people viewing the site. Yes, this is a possible option. Although I doubt the state is cheap enough to use a web hosting service that only charges $15. I'll let the FBI figure out what happened.

Now I hold extremely moderate views which are closer to Lieberman's than to most Senators. Still, I've never much cared for Droopy, especially since he became such a slut for the Republicans. Can you believe he let Bush get to Second Base? Anyway, it doesn't matter what I think, because he was running to represent the state of Connecticut, and the Democrats there decided they don't want him anymore. I'll repeat that again for you Joe. I know you are getting old. The Democrats of your state don't want you anymore.

Really, though. How do you lose a primary and still get to run in the general election. If you decide to take a "principled stand" against your party, you really should do that before you try to win your party's approval in the primary. And you can not run for the sake of your party after your party has rejected you. I am all in favor of third-party candidates running because they are dissatisfied or alienated by the two major parties. But you have to declare that at the beginning of the election. You can't change after losing the primary and expect to have any sort of credibility. I guess this just shows how desparate incumbants are to hold power, and it shows me why we need to work harder to kick out more of them.


Pee Wee's Giant pair of Underpants

Let me just say for the record that I love having cable. Cable means I have Cartoon Network, quite possible the best network on the air after 10:00. In addition to great shows like Futurama, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Brothers, and the like, I recently discovered they are now showing old episodes of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. I highly recommend watching a few episodes. Tonight Pee Wee made a turban, a wig, and a vest, all out of a giant pair of underpants. Oh, there are so many things you can do with a giant pair of underpants. The secret word: Nurse Nancy.


Killer B

Floyd Landis may not be the hero he was thought to be. I realize everyone else has already been talking about this for the last two weeks, but I thought I’d wait. I don’t like to judge anyone until all the evidence is in. And the B sample just came back, and it confirmed what we already knew. The result? 11-1 testosterone-epitestosterone levels. And synthetic testosterone.

It’s time to give it up, Floyd. No more excuses. It wasn’t the cortisone shots. It wasn’t the whiskey. It wasn’t dehydration. It wasn’t naturally produced. Did I miss any? No, Floyd, it’s time to admit it. You failed the test because you are a cheater.

I think it’s pretty sad when a professional athlete feels he needs to inject himself with testosterone. If you were a real man, you’d have enough testosterone of your own. Heck, even Lance “One Ball” Armstrong still won 6 races in a row. Now that’s a testicle that’s doing its job. Unlike those worthless little bb's clinging to Landis’ crippled hips. So Floyd, I don’t want to hear your name again. You did not win the Tour de France. I don’t even care about the Tour de France, so to know that you cheated to win it makes it all that much more pathetic.