UT Sex Week to go on despite legislative opposition

UT Sex Week to go on despite legislative opposition

Posted:
Tuesday, the House Education Committee passed a joint resolution condemning Sex Week organizers, saying the event is an "outrageous misuse" of student fees. Tuesday, the House Education Committee passed a joint resolution condemning Sex Week organizers, saying the event is an "outrageous misuse" of student fees.
"It's disappointing that they would condemn students for providing sexual health programming on the campus," UT Sex Week organizer Brianna Rader said. "It's disappointing that they would condemn students for providing sexual health programming on the campus," UT Sex Week organizer Brianna Rader said.
State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, fought against the event last year, and this year he has introduced legislation aimed at limiting events like Sex Week. State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, fought against the event last year, and this year he has introduced legislation aimed at limiting events like Sex Week.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Tennessee lawmakers are again taking aim at the University of Tennessee's Sex Week event.

Pressure from lawmakers last year prompted UT to pull funding from Sex Week, but it went on anyway.

Tuesday, the House Education Committee passed a joint resolution condemning Sex Week organizers, saying the event is an "outrageous misuse" of student fees.

"It's disappointing that they would condemn students for providing sexual health programming on the campus," UT Sex Week organizer Brianna Rader said. "We don't drag UT's name through the mud. We had 4,000 people attend our event last year. We received no complaints from the event we did last year and students really like our program."

State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, fought against the event last year, and this year he has introduced legislation aimed at limiting events like Sex Week.

One bill would prohibit the use of student activity funds altogether for any guest speakers.

Another bill sponsored by Campfield would distribute student activity fees based on the size of student group membership.

"If someone has to pay for something, they should have a choice in what it is or we should just say altogether, 'Hey, we're not going to make you pay for anything,'" Campfield said.

Sex Week is a week-long event aimed at sexual health awareness. Organizers said they include programs on all sides of the issue ranging from abstinence to pornography.

"This is not what we think education is about," Campfield said. "This is not what people are paying for and unfortunately they keep doing these things and forcing people to pay for it."

Despite the opposition from several lawmakers, Sex Week organizers said they're pleased with the support from UT.

"This year we have more concrete vocalized support from the university," Sex Week organizer Jacob Clark said.

In a statement, UT President Joe DiPietro said: "I believe free and open exchange at higher education institutions of views on controversial issues is appropriate, healthy, and routinely occurs on our campuses and others across the nation."

Sex Week will be held March 2-7.

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