A response to public concerns

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, the photo I ran in last week’s paper is no exception.

The photo in question was a full-frontal nude of an exotic dancer performing in MacEwan Student Centre on Mon., Feb. 28. Her real name was not used, her face was covered, and the photos were taken at the request of the event organizer–we broke no laws by running it.

Reaction to this photo has ranged from disgust to endorsement, but the vast majority of people I’ve talked to are indifferent.

The photo along with the story accurately depicted the nature of the Students’ Union’s controversial Sexual Health Awareness Show. The event’s purpose was to raise sexual awareness in the student body and the SU decided to do so by showing unlicensed adult entertainment.

Throughout that day, the SU received complaints from students, parents and Campus Security about performers walking through the crowded MSC Food Court wearing nothing more than what was depicted in the photo.

In spite of these complaints, the SU allowed these performers to go on stage on Monday evening in even more revealing outfits in promotion of sexual health awareness.

The Gauntlet was invited to cover and photograph an event obviously meant to shock people with its alternative sexual theme.

The show did shock the university, and I covered it in the same fashion it was conducted. To do any different would be an inaccurate representation of an event on campus. If there is one place in society that should be censorship free, it is the university environment.

These performers are not victims, they walked into this with their eyes wide open. The performers were hired by the SU to put on the show, they chose their own outfits and performed in a public environment, in front of both media and the university population. Had this been a private event with people unaware of what they were doing we wouldn’t have run the photo we did.

We should be celebrating the freedoms we have in university, not repressing them. The SU tried to raise sexual awareness on campus and, in doing so, found how sorely needed it was.

I didn’t try and shock you by allowing these women to walk around naked, the SU did. I merely reported it, and brought the controversy to the larger student population.

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