Citing fears of controversy and a perceived danger to the student body funding process, the East Tennessee State University Student Senate voted not to fund Sex Week activities at the campus, reports the Johnson City Press.
With the denial of the $9,340 request by the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, organizers of the three-day sex education event will be forced to find outside funding — through fundraising or other means — or to reapply in hopes of changing the college’s legislative body’s collective mind.
After the March condemnation by the Tennessee House of Representatives of a similar event held at the University of Tennessee, many of the student representatives expressed worries that the power of campus governing bodies could be stripped away by legislators if the event were sanctioned by ETSU.
“If we fund this, the whole Buc Fund process has a very high chance of being destroyed,” said student Sen. Brandon Johnson, who added he conferred with former state Sen. Stacey Campfield on the matter. “If this is a power-play, we will lose. As much as I’m all for fighting the system, you have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them, as the insurance commercial says.”
Senators also claimed FMLA, the campus’ local chapter of a nationwide rights organization, refused to discuss changing the name of the event from Sex Week, which Senators were afraid may be inflammatory.
Kathryn Travis, a student and secretary of ETSU’s FMLA, said the name of the event was approved by a voted of the organization’s committee, and she didn’t hold the power to change it without conferring with the group.
…The denial of the funding isn’t the end-all for the event, Travis said.
“It’s going to continue,” she said, noting the options of fundraising or reapplying to the Senate. “It’s going to happen.”
The money requested by the group would have been used mostly to pay speakers at the event, she said, who would offer presentations on a wide range of sex-related topics.