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The annual production of the Vagina Monologues has caused controversy after it emerged that the Student Union’s Women’s Officer has been organising the production of the event – despite it not necessarily being a part of her remit.Sara Dunn, LUSU’S Women’s Officer, defended her decision to take part in this year’s production, saying it is her responsibility to, “campaign, raise awareness, and co-ordinate events and facilitate student interest.”
Ms Dunn added that her main priority is to work behind the scenes on administration and production co-ordination, and that her target is to ensure that those involved have all the support they require.She said that this complements the Vagina Monologues, confirming that they are, “an educational and entertaining way of engaging people with the issues surrounding domestic violence.”
But last year’s Women’s Officer, Cat Smith, hit out at Ms. Dunn’s involvement in the production, saying: “It is always dangerous when a clique forms and sees an event as ‘their’ event, and that it has been known for women – not only students – to see such an event as being predominantly ‘theirs’.” However many of this year’s cast have never actually performed in the production before – a fact that contrasts sharply with Ms. Smith’s claims.
The Vagina Monologues have been featured in the University calendar since 2004. Over 30 women students of the University are involved in this year’s production of the Monologues. Since the initial performance five years ago, the women at Lancaster University have raised thousands of pounds for local women’s charities, as well as directly contributing to the local community, and raising money for organisations devoted to helping women involved in violent and abusive relationships.
Tickets for The Vagina Monologues go on sale in Week 3 for £5 each. The performances take place in the University’s Chaplaincy Centre on the 11th, 12th and 14th February 2009.