Threatening Sex Week dangerous for open discussion
Students at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville almost saw their choice of having lectures that broach topics more than what is discussed in the classroom limited, which could have had detrimental effects on the ability to promote student awareness on various topics.
Specifically, the students’ right to hold future Sex Week events were at stake as State Senator Stacey Campfield introduced bills that would prohibit the use of college funds for speakers unrelated to official classes and require each speaker have a variety of viewpoints rather than focus on one topic, such as those discussed at Sex Week.
Now Campfield wants students to have the option to opt out of paying activity fees that support “questionable” events, a measure University of Tennessee System President Joe DiPietro is pushing to the state Senate.
Events such as Sex Week at universities are all the more necessary, as sex education in grade school is already more of a warning against sex than a true conversation of human sexuality. This limited sex education and the potential sexual situations that may arise when entering university life make campus discussions critical to
The events, planned and paid for by students, are meant to be a chance for students to engage in serious lectures focusing on topics such as sexuality and relationships and includes entertaining events such as drag shows and condom fashion shows.
Events similar to what University of Tennessee has done with Sex Week are similar to USF events, only there are no lawmakers trying to limit those that are sexually themed.
Less than two weeks ago, P.R.I.D.E. Alliance held a drag show in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Ballroom. Earlier this month, USF’s of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi and Chi Upsilon Sigma sororities held a discussion on oral sex on campus.
Campfield believes students are already paying too much for tuition and should not be paying for events such as Sex Week or speakers they disagree with.
Aside from trying to limit Tennessee students from wanting to have an open forum to discuss sex, Campfield wants to limit the future of students’ exposure to non-academic related speakers.
Many USF lecturers don’t relate to official classes, something Campfield’s bill would have required for Tennessee schools. When Bill and Giuliana Rancic visited USF in 2012 as part of the University Lecture Series, a program that’s motto is “speak freely,” they spoke on topics such as infertility, breast cancer and how relationships work.
While these speakers were not connected to a class on campus, their talk filled the MSC Ballroom with students and opened the floor for important discussions.
Campfield argues that students should not have to pay for speakers they disagree with. By saying this, Campfield seems to forget that there is no such thing as universal agreement on lecture topics, as students will naturally find some speakers more interesting than others.
It is important to have speakers discussing issues students may not run into during their time in classes, since it gives students a chance to remember they do more than float from class to class and can address personal issues such as sexuality and relationships.
Though Campfield’s limiting efforts may be an effort to improve the school, it may actually hurt the students by limiting their exposure to unique voices and events that are important, even if they are not for everyone.
If USF can have such events and speakers not based on courses, then it’s curious what Tennessee legislature’s considerations would mean for schools in Tennessee and what waves it can have elsewhere.
Adam Mathieu is a sophomore majoring in studio art.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- Protest met with active counter-demonstration
- Smoke free campus?
- Shared, for a price
- Student letter voices displeasure with planned SDS protest
- USF softball picked to finish second in AAC
- Bulls’ home winning streak to be tested by No. 9 Louisville on Sunday
- Bulls alumni voice support for former strength coach
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Food, Fuel, and Finance ... The 3Fs of Economics
- Top Tips for Timely Performance Driving
- Wellness Program Rewards Healthy New Year's Goals
- New Medical Supplement Offers Advance in Bladder Control
- Get An Edge on College Prep Tests
- Noodles to the Rescue: Make Dinner In a Snap
- Student Athletes Emulate the Pros in Abusing Prescription...
- Specialized Firefighter Training Helps Save Farmers' Lives
- One New Year's Resolution You Don't Have to Keep to Be a...
- Reverse Mortgage Can Help With Retirement Planning
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- College Students Head Back to Campus with Amazon Prime Student
- Phi Kappa Phi 2017 Award Programs Now Open
- MAX FROST RELEASES NEW VIDEO FOR INFECTIOUS TRACK "ADDERALL"
- PEPSICO AND 21ST CENTURY FOX ANNOUNCE "THE SEARCH FOR HIDDEN FIGURES"
- The Most Popular Entry-Level Jobs and Companies for College Graduates