The University of Tennessee-Knoxville agreed to fund its first “Sex Week” to the tune of $20,000 of university funds, but a group of Tennessee lawmakers demanded that the school put an end to the event or face losing state funding.
The event is scheduled for April 7 through 12, and sponsors even set up a Facebook page to urge UofT students to join the event.
“Sex is big. Sex is everything. Sex is coming to UTK in 2013 for a WHOLE WEEK! Sex, Sexuality, Relationships, Gender!,” the hosts said of their event.
But State Sen. Stacey Campfield was not amused by the carnal carnival. He told Fox News, “We should be teaching these children what is important to learn so they can get jobs.”
“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,” the Senator said.
A spokesperson for the university initially told reporters that the program was “beneficial.”
“The university is providing funding for this workshop because it covers a wide range of issues that are beneficial to our students. It’s tackling important topics related to sexual health, sexual identity, preventing sexual assault, gender roles and religion,” the spokesman said.
Ultimately, the school backed down and agreed to pull most of the funding for the event.
UofT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said in a statement, “We support the process and the students involved, but we should not use state funds in this manner.”
UT System President Joe DiPietro also added his voice to the statement, saying, “The University is accountable to the General Assembly, the governor and the people of Tennessee for the use of state tax dollars.”
“The University’s three-part mission is to provide education, research and public service, and the state allocates this funding to help us fulfill the mission. Some activities planned as part of Sex Week are not an appropriate use of state tax dollars,” he said.
The school finally pulled most of the funding for the event, but agreed to allow the students to use the $6,700 in student fees. If student sponsors can raise the rest of the cash for the event, the university intends to allow them to continue with the Sex Week program.
But that Sex Week might happen anyway still grates on many of Tennessee’s elected officials.
State Representative Bill Dunn expressed his outrage on the House Floor and has called the event “debauchery.”
Dunn also reported that the university is looking into who gave the original OK for this event in the first place.