The Chronicle’s View: Sexual displays not new to the U

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center should have supported the Queer Student Union by agreeing to advertise Pride Week with posters originally created by LGBT intern and QSU member Bonnie Owens.

Instead, the five posters, after a review by LGBT Resource Center Director Cathy Martinez and Vice President for Student Affairs Kari Ellingson, were rejected because they felt that the posters were too sexual and would perpetuate stereotypes of the queer community.

Although Pride Week is a joint operation between the LGBT Resource Center and QSU and it is ultimately Martinez’s decision how the event is advertised, the GSU is right to be upset by the rejection. The queer community is often marginalized at the U, and when the one week comes around to celebrate their culture, certain members’ ideas of how to promote that culture are being silenced.

In a sense, the LGBT Resource Center is viewed as an entity set up to support the QSU and queer students as a whole. By not supporting QSU’s input on Pride Week, the LGBT Resource Center is taking on an authoritative role that could cause resentment between the two entities.

True, the posters might be sexy, but like it or not, sex has become a mainstream asset to society. They say sex sells, and the QSU isn’t the only entity on campus that capitalizes on that wisdom.

Almost each month, students flock to the dance floor of Crimson Nights in order to bump and grind each other to the latest Kanye West song. Recently, various members of campus were involved in a date auction to raise money for Rock the U. Basim Motiwala, the vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, was purchased for about $55. At nearly every sporting event, crowds are privy to the color of “spankies” each cheerleader wears under her short skirt. Let’s not even start on the motivation behind the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity’s annual “schoolgirl” party.

Ellingson and Martinez’s objection to the sexuality of the rejected posters is questionable in the face of all the things that could be deemed too sexual at the U. They indicated that, in place of the posters, pictures of couples holding hands, hugging and kissing would be a preferable image. Take a look at the posters and decide which would be more sexual — kissing or glimpses of skin?

[email protected]