Vulcan Krewe got out of hand

The St. Paul Winter Carnival is a tradition full of nostalgia, not raucous and lewd behavior.

St. Paul Winter Carnival officials are considering banning some rituals the historic Vulcans have been known for. For more than 30 years, the Vulcans have partaken in both good and bad practices at the carnivals, though the bad heavily overshadows the good.

In earlier years, the Vulcans were known to kiss women against their will. Now, their ritual of sliding garters up women’s legs has gotten the group in trouble once again.

These sexist acts have no place in a city event. If the Vulcans want to remain a part of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, they must diminish their offensive behavior toward women. The group is giving not only itself but, more importantly, the city of St. Paul a bad face.

Recently, a group of three female bartenders at Alary’s Bar claimed the leader of the Vulcans, Thomas Trudeau, sexually molested them while performing the garter ritual. He was then charged with three separate counts of criminal sexual conduct. This attention caused the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation to grant him absence as the Vulcans’ leader and also suspend seven other members from the carnival.

This recent incident should draw attention to the fact that some of the practices the Vulcans have are sexist and have no place in a city festival. The Vulcans do hold important and historic participation in the St. Paul Winter Carnival, but their activities are tarnishing the group’s name as well as tarnishing the city of St. Paul.

If the Vulcans feel their practices are acceptable, the group should practice them on its own time, not the city’s. Hopefully, the city and the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation will realize that though the carnival was designed to bring people of the city together during the winter months, it is doing just the opposite.

The Vulcans’ practices at the carnival are a turn-off for many participants, namely women. The obnoxious behavior must be dealt with by the city by placing bans on certain rituals. With attention brought to the Vulcans’ behavior, they must find a way to participate in the carnival as they have in the past, only without offending people.