Organizers of the University of Tennessee’s first-ever “Sex Week” will have to find a new source of funding after embattled university officials reversed course and announced they will not fund the controversial program with state tax dollars.
“We support the process and the students involved, but we should not use state funds in this manner,” Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said in a statement.
Cheek made the announcement after reviewing “Sex Week’s” final agenda. As a result, the student-led event will be forced to find $11,145 in additional funding. The university will continue to let the group use $6,700 in student fees.
UT System President Joe DiPietro said he supports the decision.
“The University is accountable to the General Assembly, the governor and the people of Tennessee for the use of state tax dollars,” DiPietro said. “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.”
The university’s turn-about came as Tennessee’s governor and a host of lawmakers voiced their public opposition. Several lawmakers had already announced plans to defund the university unless they defunded “Sex Week.”
A spokesman for Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told Fox News that based on the information they had, “we believe this is an inappropriate use of university funds.”
Sex Week is scheduled for April 7-12 and includes 30 events including “Getting Laid,” “Sex Positivity; Queer as a Verb,” “Bow Chicka Bow Woah,” “How to talk to Your Parents About Sex,” “Loud and Queer,” and “How Many Licks Does it Take…” – a workshop about oral sex.
“We should be teaching these children what is important to learn so they can get jobs,” state Sen. Stacey Campfield told Fox News. “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 university had allocated nearly $20,000 to fund the week-long salute to sex that also included a poetry-reading lesbian bondage expert and a campus-wide scavenger hunt for a golden condom.
“This is truly an offense to the people of Tennessee,” state Rep. Susan Lynn said on the House floor. “I am offended for the people of my district at the University of Tennessee having sex week.”
Sen. Campfield told Fox News he is beyond outraged and called the event “completely ridiculous.”
“They’ve been trying to say it’s about safety and birth control,” he said. “These kids are supposed to be some of the smartest kids out there – and they don’t know where to buy condoms? If they can’t figure out where to buy condoms, I question whether they need to be in college in the first place – if they’re that stupid.”
Campfield has summoned university officials to the state capitol to explain why they signed off on the event.
“The university always cries poor-mouth, that they don’t have any money and yet they seem to have plenty of money to do this kind of stuff,” he said. “We’re going to try and hold their budget until it gets squared away.”
The content of sex week prompted Rep. Bill Dunn to express his outrage on the House floor.
“It’s debauchery,” he told Fox News. “They are treating sex in such a frivolous manner.”
Dunn, who graduated from the University of Tennessee, said he’s been overwhelmed with phone calls from angry citizens.
“I don’t think they approve of the university using their resources to push forth a hook-up agenda,” he said.
Dunn said he’s been in touch with university officials who told him they’ve already launched an internal inquiry into who ultimately gave the thumbs up for the event.
“There’s going to be an investigation as to whose thumb was up,” he said. “I’m not sure the president of the university was aware of what happened.”
Campfield said the inmates are running the asylum.
“They say it’s all about diversity,” he told Fox News. “Well, perversity does not make diversity just because it’s at the university.”