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'Sex Week' interruptus after taxpayer revolt
Posted By Garth Kant On 03/21/2013 @ 3:46 pm In Education,Front Page,Health,Politics,U.S. | No Comments
The University of Tennessee hasn't pulled the plug on Sex Week, but it has cut some of the purse strings.
UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek announced today that state taxes and tuition will not be used to fund the controversial event.
The university said $6,700 in student programming dollars will still be used for Sex Week but not $11,145 from academic programs and departments.
Cheek said he made the decision after reviewing the final agenda for Sex Week.
"We support the process and the students involved, but we should not use state funds in this manner," Cheek said.
University of Tennessee system President Joe DiPietro said, "Some activities planned as part of Sex Week are not an appropriate use of state tax dollars."
The university is hoping to dampen a firestorm of outrage from some state lawmakers and their constituents.
"Perversity does not make diversity just because it’s at the university," said Sen. Stacey Campfield.
Legislators were prepared to tell the university to defund the first Sex Week on campus or they would defund the university.
Events scheduled for April 7-12 include "Getting Laid," "Sex Positivity; Queer as a Verb," "Loud and Queer," a campus-wide condom scavenger hunt, a workshop on oral sex called "How Many Licks Does it Take," and a lecture titled "Messing Around with Gender," to be delivered by a lesbian bondage expert.
WND reported Sex Week has become a tradition at many universities, including the Ivy League's Yale, Harvard and Brown.
But it caused an uproar at this Southern school. Many UT alumni, lawmakers and taxpayers are angry.
A university spokesman told Fox News that student fees and university money are covering the nearly $20,000 cost of Sex Week.
"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," said Campfield, R-Knoxville.
The lawmaker planned to call university officials to the state capitol to explain why they approved Sex Week. Campfield is one of a number of state lawmakers who wanted to put the university's budget on hold until they got some answers.
Rep. Bill Dunn said university officials told him they are already looking into who approved the event.
"There's going to be an investigation as to whose thumb was up," Dunn said. "I'm not sure the president of the university was aware of what happened."
However, the university still seems to be defending Sex Week.
"The university is providing funding for this workshop because it covers a wide range of issues that are beneficial to our students," the university spokesman said. "It's tackling important topics related to sexual health, sexual identity, preventing sexual assault, gender roles and religion."
Lawmakers aren't buying that bill of goods.
"We should be teaching these children what is important to learn so they can get jobs," said Campfield. "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," he said. "These kids are supposed to be some of the smartest kids out there – and they don't know where to buy condoms?"
He continued, "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."
State Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mount Juliet called the event "truly an offense to the people of Tennessee."
"I am offended for the people of my district at the University of Tennessee having Sex Week," she said.
Dunn said his office has been flooded with calls from angry citizens.
"I don't think they approve of the university using their resources to push forth a hook-up agenda," he said.
"Society needs to understand you are going to reap what you sow," Dunn said. "If you turn sex into some kind of a game – and toys and debauchery – does it really shock you that people then take it to the step of 'Hey, kids are just sex toys that we buy and sell and we get our pleasure however we want to?'"
Dunn continued, "There are adults who need to grow up and act like adults and lead young people toward what is good and healthy – as opposed to promoting stuff that leads to the breakdown of the family and sexual abuse."
WND reported last week that Sex Week at Brown University, running from March 11-17, included a workshop on "The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure."
Other workshops included "Fornication 101," "Dirty Talk," ""Queering the Toybox" and "Sex Week Finale: Lace and Leather Burlesque Show."
Yale appears to have started the trend on college campuses with its first Sex Week in 2002. This year, it held a shortened Sex Weekend at the beginning of March, perhaps due to bad publicity.
Nathan Harden's book "Sex and God at Yale" describes "perversity among the Ivy and ideology gone wild as the upper echelon of academia is mired in nothing less than a full-fledged moral crisis."
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