Maryland Universities and Explicitness

October 7, 2009

Sexually explicit materials continue to create controversies for Maryland's public university system. The Baltimore Sun reported on efforts by system officials, at legislative request, to develop a policy on student displays of pornographic movies. Lawmakers were upset last year about plans to show a porn film, for which a viewing was called off and then restored in part at Maryland's flagship campus at College Park. Under the drafts being considered, any porn film would have to be paired with educational discussions, the Sun reported.

At Towson University, meanwhile, the editor-in-chief has resigned and a controversial sex column will appear only online and not in print, following criticism -- from the university's president among others - over its explicitness. A statement from the newspaper defended the column's content, but said that the student journalists on the staff regret a break in the Towerlight's normal procedures by letting the columns appear anonymously and that the article wasn't written "less provocatively." The column that sparked the criticism was about how to perform several sexual acts. Reactions posted on the Web site back up the claims of administrators that the piece offended many, and also the claims of the newspaper that many students value the frank discussion of sex.

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