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A scavenger hunt for a golden condom, workshops on “getting laid,” “sex positivity,” “queer as a bug” and “how to turn up the heat on our sex drive,”  are all part of the University of Tennessee’s Sex Week. A program at UT which (until yesterday) was scheduled to be partially paid for via tax and tuition dollars ($20,000).

Scheduled for early April 7-12th the student group designing the program has a goal to

[make sure] that everyone feels comfortable attending any of our events and each person leaves having a comprehensive understanding of sexuality, including health, pleasure, and empowerment.

Something noble especially the “health” part–but is a class on giving oral sex and a week-long “find the golden condom” scavenger hunt really a priority for taxpayer dollars?  Some in the state legislature say NO WAY:

On Monday  Sen. Stacey Campfield, said he expects UT officials to be called before the Senate Education Committee to explain the event, scheduled on the Knoxville campus April 7-12. Campfield wrote members of the committee suggesting the panel reconsider its approval of UT’s budget for the coming year because of the event. He said Monday that the committee’s chairman, Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville, told him reconsideration of budget approval would be difficult, but that UT officials would be summoned to explain.

It took a day but after the legislature’s protests (and some calls from alumni) the University Changes its mind regarding helping to fund Sex Week.

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said today the campus will not be using state tax or tuition dollars to fund Sex Week.

Cheek said that after reviewing the final agenda for the student-programmed event he determined that it should not be funded by state tax dollars.

The organization will retain $6,700 in student programming dollars but $11,145 from academic programs and departments will no longer be available.

While the University did the correct thing by pulling state funds from the program, it was not until they were embarrassed in the state legislature that they made the move.

This is a great example of what is wrong with public Universities in this country—they have no concept of what is happening in the real world. States are struggling to keep their financial heads above water, people are out of work and/or barely making their bills— yet they have no problem spending taxpayer money on class designed to help students “get what they want in the bedroom” or a “sex trivia and Pizza party.”  Not only is it a poor use taxpayer money but it is really ignorant from a PR point of view.

Its not that I am objecting to Sex Week itself just the fact that it is being paid for with public dollars.  There happen to be legitimate programs as part of sex week, programs that should be done on the campus, such as HIV testing, or “Sex, Gender, and the Law,” but improving one’s sex life in college is not a constitutional right in Tennessee or anywhere else in the country.

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