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February Events Focus on Education, Entertainment

February 19, 2009

UC Merced’s students are inspired to entertain the masses this month, with students planning a variety of events geared to make audiences think and laugh.

The University Women of Merced Network will kick off its annual production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” this weekend. About 20 students will participate in the performance, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 and 21, and at 2 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Lakireddy Auditorium.

Proceeds will benefit The Valley Crisis Center, Merced County’s only domestic violence intervention center.  A small portion of proceeds will be allocated to V-Day’s nonprofit organization, which distributes funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls, notably in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

A VIP benefit party will precede the Feb. 21 performance, and tickets – at $20 – will include admission to that night’s show. The VIP event will begin at 6 p.m. in the Dining Commons’ private dining room and includes appetizers and dessert with cast members and representatives from the Valley Crisis Center. Tickets will be sold at the door.

Tickets for all shows are $5 for students (with identification) and $10 for others. Tickets can be purchased at the auditorium booth at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 and 21 and at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 22. To pay online, students may click here; faculty and staff may click here. For information: jshay@ucmerced.edu.

While the campus community is in critical-thinking mode, the Chicano/a Literature Series will present “Banned in Newman, CA” on Monday at 4 p.m. in the Bobcat Lair (KL 161).

The event will focus on the Newman-Crows Landing school board’s recent decision to remove Rudolfo A. Anaya’s award-winning novel, “Bless Me, Ultima,” from the sophomore required reading list at Orestimba High School in Newman. The book had been part of the high school’s curriculum for more than a decade before a parent complained to the board, said UC Merced literature professor Manuel Martin-Rodriguez.

The book is required reading for students enrolled in Literature 168 at UC Merced. Participating in Monday’s discussion will be Catherine Quittmeyer, chairwoman of Orestimba’s English Department, and Andre Powell, who teaches English at the school.

Admission is free and open to the public. For information: mmartin-rodriguez@ucmerced.edu

To lighten the mood a bit next weekend, Magnum Opus, UC Merced’s student improv group, will present “Laughingstock 2009.” The student-produced comedy night will begin at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Lakireddy Auditorium. The night will be a veritable plethora of laughs with improv, impressions, videos, stand-up and sketches. Though students are the standouts, UC Merced lecturer and club adviser Michael Winder and information technology staffer Christopher Volkerts will also perform.

Admission is free and open to the public. For information: dsantiago@ucmerced.edu.