On Monday night, the Students’ Association Senate voted against using some of the budget surplus to add pornographic titles such as “Debbie Does Dallas,” “Sum of All Rears,” “Genital Hospital,” and “Totally Nude Aerobics” to the Multimedia Center’s DVD collection.

The senate later approved adding nearly 570 additional non-pornographic DVDs that former SA Senator and junior Andrew Baukney and SA Cabinet member and junior Noah Kuschel proposed.

The vote on whether to include porn among the DVDs in the Multimedia Center failed to obtain a majority, with seven senators voting for the resolution, six against it and four choosing to abstain. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, this means that the proposition did not pass, nor did it fail ? it merely died.

For now, the issue has been covered on the agenda, but not really resolved. It can be brought up for discussion the next time there is a vote to add additional titles to the DVD library.

“By not putting porn in [this purchase] we’re not saying porn is bad,” quad senator and sophomore Thomas Hayes said. Hayes voted against the resolution.

Baukney and Kuschel have objections to adding pornographic materials to the DVD collection. “It was never our intention to include [pornography] in our proposal,” Kuschel said. “I don’t think I would feel comfortable [running the DVD loaning system with pornography].”

SA Senator, UR Cinema Group Business Manager and junior Peter Ordal voted in favor of adding pornographic materials to the library’s DVD collection. “The UR Cinema Group [an SA funded organization] sponsors the Spring Porn, which draws more than 1,000 movie-goers each year,” Ordal said. “It is obviously a popular event. Students here are interested in porn.”

“We fund that program, [so] I don’t see why we can’t purchase at least a few [pornographic] titles,” Ordal said.

SA Senator Martin Kulli also voted for including pornography in the Multimedia Center. “We agreed for the first round of DVD purchases to use student submissions, and these movies were on the list. There are books in the library that claim that the Holocaust didn’t take place. To me, that is much more pornographic,” Kulli said. “Just because it is controversial doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have it.”

The first round of DVD purchases was on a significantly smaller scale, so Baukney and Kuschel could not honor all of the suggested movie titles. For the second round of purchases, however, the criteria for purchasing DVDs was different. For this second round of DVD purchases the senate told Baukney and Kuschel to use the most popular movies list, Kuschel said.

He also said that it would not follow suit if senate then passed a proposal tacking on pornographic movies that didn’t make the top movie lists.

Some, however, pointed out that the popularity was based upon the top domestic grosses for each film and failed to take into account the preferences of the campus, such as anime. “A poll would be really helpful,” SA Senator Danielle Friedman, who voted against the resolution, said.

“I’m against having a poll,” SA Senator Monica Reyhani said. “When we got the list, we were giggling about it. I think students [wouldn’t treat the issue seriously].” Reyhani abstained from voting.

“Most of the people who I’ve spoken to haven’t had a staunch objection if we limit it to just a few titles,” SA Senator Ilana Kaplan-Shain, who voted for the resolution, said. “Pornography is just another form of entertainment. Not including it would be censorship.”

During the meeting, some senators brought up the issue of using the SA funds collected from all undergraduates to fund pornography. “[Pornography] seems to objectify women and I am absolutely opposed to that,” Friedman said. “Many people have very strong moral objections to pornography. We are using their money too.”

“[This is] our money ? our parents money ? what would they think? What would alumni think?” Reyhani said.

In response to Reyhani’s question, Kulli responded,'”Only about 1.6% of the DVDs would be porn. The alumni may react negatively, but they would also react negatively to censorship on campus. We need to have a diverse list with more than one point of view.”

“Our main duty is to represent our constituents,” SA senator Alex Voetsch said. “There’s a good amount of our constituents that want porn.”

SA Senator Siddharth Parameswaran voted against including pornography.””[We] are elected to vote for [our] conscience, as well,” he said.

As the meeting wore on, people got frustrated. “I don’t want to push this off anymore. It is a big step to say no to porn in the library. Porn is a part of life. Things happen that people don’t like,” said SA Senator Eric Dubowsky, who voted for the resolution. “It is a bold move.”

Baukney and Kuschel are anxious to get the new DVDs purchased and on the shelves in the Multimedia Center.

Baukney also noted the availability of pornography. “If students want porn, they have a sufficiently fast internet connection,” Baukney said.

Political Science Professor Gerald Gamm pointed out that responsibility comes with freedom. “As senators think through this issue, I know that they will consider that some forms of speech can be hurtful to some people in this community,” he said.

“Most people, I think, would agree that racist or anti-Semitic messages are not the sorts of things that students at a major educational institution would want to promote. Many people, myself included, would place pornography in that same category of offensive speech,” he continued.

Some students feel strongly against the proposal to add pornography to the DVD library.

“Unless there’s a really good reason why it would enhance the experience at the university, I don’t think it’s necessary,” junior Brieanne Turehetti said.””It’s not offensive to me, but I don’t think that we need to spend money on it.”

Other students agree. “I think that it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” freshman Kathryn Nave said.

Senior Suzanne Decker pointed out that there are other sources for students who want to watch porn. “It’s ridiculous ? they can find it for free on the Internet,” she said. “There are so many good movies that they could get.”

Additional reporting by Chadwick Schnee.



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