by Jeff Woods
Campfield sent a letter to senators asking for their help in retracting the Senate Education Committee's approval of the university's budget "so UT can either verify or deny publicly these incredible allegations."
April's Sex Week is costing $20,000, with funding of various workshops from the university and student fees. According to student organizers, the idea is to promote sexual health (there's free HIV testing), to increase awareness of sexual assault on campus and to discuss sexual identity and gender roles.
Here's the mission statement from the sponsoring club, Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee:
We believe in a comprehensive, sex-positive understanding of sexuality that promotes sexual health, pleasure, and empowerment. The dialogue we hope to cultivate will be LGBTQ-friendly, relevant to a wide array of audiences, medically accurate, held in a safe-space, and enlightening.
Sounds menacing, right? The mere mention of LGBTQ-friendliness is enough to set Campfield's blood boiling, but Sex Week also includes a campus-wide scavenger hunt for a golden condom, and a talk by noted lesbian erotica author Sinclair Sexsmith. (Gasp!)
The Christian Right's David Fowler sees an opportunity to go crazy. In his weekly newsletter, he writes: "We doubt that many UT Knoxville alums—and Tennessee taxpayers—want their support of UT to pay for its first-ever 'Sex Week.'" He called it a "sex on steroids happening."
In the Fox News story, an unwitting university flack is supporting the event. "The university is providing funding for this workshop because it covers a wide range of issues that are beneficial to our students," she says. But now that conservative Christians are on the warpath, we bet the university can't cancel Sex Week quickly enough.