Edgewood College removes link to Planned Parenthood from website; students protest for apologies

Students protested on Monroe Street on Friday afternoon following the removal of a link to Planned Parenthood on Edgewood College’s off-campus wellness resources website.

In a letter to students, faculty and staff, Edgewood College interim President Mary Ellen Gevelinger said she made the decision with the President’s Council to remove the Planned Parenthood link from the school’s website. She said the information is still available in printed form in the school’s wellness center.

The removal followed constant requests and a petition from an off-campus conservative student group. School leadership said they never saw the petition.

Gevelinger said the document was taken down “in an effort to reduce Edgewood College’s value as a weapon as this organization continues to attack institutions.”

Students at the protest are demanding an apology from Gevelinger.

This is not who we are: a response from the officers of EC English Association pic.twitter.com/VsRyhRTlvJ

— Edgewood College English Association (@ecenglishassoc) December 6, 2019

“I mean, obviously we want the link back up, but the more overarching thing is we want her to apologize,” sophomore Jade Proctor said. “We want Sister Mary Ellen to say: “I did something wrong. I overlooked this. I shouldn’t have done this.’ We want her to take responsibility for what she has done and not hide from her students.”

The president of Edgewood Safe Sean O’Brien, a senior, said the students feel unheard.

“The college always preaches the fact that they are inclusive and that they put their students first and that’s why they’re here at work every day. So with those lines, you would expect them to listen to the students, but they haven’t, so I am a little surprised,” O’Brien said.

Late today Gevelinger reached out to student leadership to reschedule a meeting to continue the conversation.

“We reject these organizations- and any groups- that seek to tear at the fabric of our community,” Gevelinger said. “Every student and every colleague is valued here. We do not tolerate intolerance.”

Gevelinger said the school continues to refer students to off-campus wellness resources in Madison.

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.