Sex Week at UT-Knoxville — different this year?

The University of Tennessee’s controversial Sex Week, which got underway Sunday, may have started as a way to address sexual assaults on campus and more traditional issues around sexuality, but this year the event is tackling an even broader range of issues, reports the News Sentinel.

A somewhat contrasting report of the Sex Week events is offered by Tennessee Star. Excerpts from both follow.

From the KNS:

A workshop on mental health and sex will explore “the complex intersection between two extremely taboo topics,” according to the event’s programming, another workshop will talk about how to use your sexuality as a tool for political resistance and activism and an international cooking workshop will strive to embrace other cultures via the preparation of aphrodisiac foods. It’s also being billed as the “biggest and best” Sex Week yet.

“For us, it’s about trying to make up for some of the programming that was lost but also re-committing our focus as an organization to speaking to different identity groups on campus and making sure every student at UT can find at least one event over the week that applies to them,” said Colleen Ryan, co-chair of the executive board of Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee, the student organization that sponsors Sex Week.

Ryan and SEAT Co-Chair Geoffrey Harvey said conversations about a wider range of topics and issues of diversity are important, especially following the de-funding of UT’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion last year.

Sex Week’s ever-popular drag show, a sex toy giveaway and a sex and cannabis expert speaking on living with a sexually transmitted infection are all part of a racy lineup that in year’s past has drawn the ire of some state lawmakers who have criticized the event on campus.

But there will also be keynote discussions on socioeconomic class and race, and how they intersect with sexuality.

“A lot of people who are in charge don’t seem to connect with the idea of diversity and inclusion, so they don’t really see the importance of it,” Harvey said. “Empowerment is an important part of what we do and it’s about making sure people who feel disenfranchised have a voice.”

From Tennessee Star’s report, which includes a list of topics on the schedule for discussion, begins:

Undergraduates at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville are not learning about the Constitution this week, the focus of The Tennessee Star’s new series of articles for secondary students in grades 8 through 12. Instead, they are participating in the school’s fifth annual “Sex Week.”

Included is the observation that  “eight of the twenty-one members of the student executive board (overseeing Sex Week) are Haslam Scholars, including the two co-chairs.”  The Haslam scholars program was substantially funded by Jim Haslam, founder of Pilot Corp. and father of Gov. Bill Haslam, along with “Jimmy” Haslam, brother of the governor and son of “Big Jim” Haslam.

Note: The Sex Week webpage is HERE.

2 Responses to Sex Week at UT-Knoxville — different this year?

  • cjmcd says:

    Why do we have “sex week” at a PUBLIC funded university? Are we trying to diminish the reputation of the university? Why do we taxpayers not take the funding from university of tennessee and fund Liberty Un iversity with the money or some well run other public University? Surely, there are better places to put the funding than a place where our morals and way American life guidance is more deserving.

  • Fritz says:

    Why didn’t they have this when I went to college?

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