Friday, March 22, 2013

The Evolution of College Education: Case 147 (Sex Week at UT)

Should a public university be sponsoring a Sex Week? You know, a public university of the type that prohibits open expressions of Christianity by faculty and denies funds for Christian speakers, events or student clubs? 

And should said university use taxpayer dollars to finance this Sex Week?

Wait a sec. Before you answer these questions, make sure you understand what Sex Week is. You may remember similar shenanigans mentioned in a Vital Signs Blog post earlier this month (The Loathsome Lows of "Higher" Education), but the University of Tennessee lays out its Sex Week like this -- 30 fun and inspiring events that include “Getting Laid,” “Sex Positivity; Queer as a Verb,” “Loud and Queer,” “How Many Licks Does it Take?,” a poetry-reading lesbian bondage expert, and a campus-wide scavenger hunt for a golden condom.

Now to officials at the University of Tennessee, this is all proper education and they gave organizers $20,000 to pull it off. Well, that is, until state lawmakers started screaming. Then the university cancelled the event, made profuse apologies, fired the persons involved, and created firm policies to keep such immoral foolishness from ever happening again.

I'm kidding, of course.

What the university actually did was to insist that all of the activities planned for Sex Week were just fine and dandy. Because of the publicity, they did admit that perhaps some of them were "not an appropriate use of state tax dollars” but even those remain on the schedule.

Still, to try and soothe the ruffled feathers of an outraged state senators (not to mention parents and UT students who didn't know that their mandatory student fees would be used to fund such things), the officials are now giving Sex Week only a bit under $7,000 and encouraging them to find alternative funding for the rest.

Reactions to Sex Week? Here's a few comments from State Senator Stacey Campfield:

"We should be teaching these children what is important to learn so they can get jobs. I don’t know what jobs they plan on getting if they’re having seminars on oral sex and bondage. I don’t see how that will help someone in their professional career – unless they plan on becoming a porn star.”

“They’ve been trying to say it’s about safety and birth control. These kids are supposed to be some of the smartest kids out there – and they don’t know where to buy condoms? If they can’t figure out where to buy condoms, I question whether they need to be in college in the first place – if they’re that stupid.”

“The university always cries poor-mouth, that they don’t have any money and yet they seem to have plenty of money to do this kind of stuff. We’re going to try and hold their budget until it gets squared away.”

“They say it’s all about diversity. Well, perversity does not make diversity just because it’s at the university.”

Here's more of the story.