March 25, 2009

University Sex Column Under Attack (Not Ours, Don’t Worry)

A Montana university's sex column is under attack from other university faculty who think the column is inappropriate for the school newspaper

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This story out of Montana hits a little to close to home. Granted, this newspaper column seems to be on the more fun, entertainment side of sexuality columns rather than a sexual health Q&A like Kinsey Confidential, but if this newspaper is helping to start or increase the conversations around sexuality, pleasure, and safety on a college campus – then more power to them!

From the article:

A sex column in the University of Montana newspaper is under attack by a law professor who says the cloak of press freedom is being used to defend writing that is “embarrassingly unprofessional” and reflects poorly on the university and its faculty.

The faculty sponsor of the newspaper seems to be doing a nice job of supporting his students and reminding the administration and the professor with the issue about the newspaper’s topical content that it belongs to the students.

Feedback from outside legal experts say that censoring the newspaper could do more harm than the continuing to run the supposedly “unprofessional” column. I agree.

The professor who wants the column more heavily supervised has concerns about the student writing the column, an undergraduate journalism student, because she lacks formal training in human behavior and psychology.

True, but the column is an opinion column and I’m sure, like any journalism student, this columnist was taught to research her facts before she publishes them. And when and if she might need to cite a sexual health statistic, we’ll be here.