Considering how un-sexy most of the Ivy League is, it’s always creepy how pervy and sex-obsessed Yale is, whether it be naked recruitment parties, sexist Asian playboys or, taking my personal vote for most scarring, interpretive art ostensibly created from the bodily remnants of a rigorous nine-month period of self-induced abortions.
But things might be changing for the university ranked the second-horniest in the nation by Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Last week, Yale president Richard Levin announced that the student-run Sex Week — Yale’s biennial celebration of everything porn-related or moderately sexually offensive — would no longer be permitted to use university facilities or Yale’s name to conduct the program’s festivities.
Conservative students have long complained about Sex Week, saying it promotes sexual licentiousness rather than sexual understanding. It’s not a hard argument to fathom. While the program has reportedly described itself as “a campus-wide interdisciplinary sex education program,” recent events have included meetings with porn stars and everything sex toy-related rather than the feel-good, diversity-embracing group talk sessions of after-school specials. And campus group Undergraduates for a Better Yale College, which claims to promote “responsibility, integrity, and respect for others,” sent out a letter earlier this year saying that “about one-third of the events were hosted or facilitated by pornographic film actors or people intimately involved with the pornography industry.”
But, as much attention as the Ivy League normally pays to token conservatives lamenting the downfall of academia into liberal debauchery, the real impetus behind the change was a recent report released by Yale’s Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, a task force convened in April to address improving Yale’s sexual culture and, you know, alleviate the bad press from all that Title IX violation stuff. The report called for the elimination of Sex Week and lamented that the event had devolved into little more than a parade of “titillating displays, ‘adult’ film stars, and commercial sponsors of such material.”
According to a copy of the report obtained by Jezebel, the committee cited Sex Week’s general lack of anything healthy or supportive for the campus sexual community as reasons to boot the program from the list of university-endorsed events:
We recognize the role of events that promote healthy discourse and help students explore issues of intimacy, love, and relationships as they relate to their own lives but feel that the most recent iterations of ‘Sex Week at Yale’ cannot accomplish this. Administrators and student organizers must be thoughtful about working together to create a new program that is consistent with a climate of respect and responsibility (and thus worthy of the University’s support).
While Levin stopped short of outright banning the event, citing his reluctance to quash Yalies’ freedom of expression, he did withdraw all university support for the event while giving Sex Week’s organizers the chance to submit a proposal for a revised, more academic sort of program. But with characteristic Yale cockiness (pun intended), Sex Week organizer Connie Cho ’13 told the Yale Daily News that the event still served its original purpose and that she was confident Sex Week “is going to happen.”
We’re waiting to see how that turns out. But in the meantime, it looks like the knowledge that Yale’s turned into the Ivy League equivalent of that creepy guy who sits behind you in class, and just might be smelling your hair, finally compelled administrators to put their foot down and say no to something. But then again, at Yale, no means yes.