Tennessee lawmakers advanced legislation this week officially condemning a group of students for holding a "Sex Week" event on campus.
A resolution with 29 co-sponsors currently moving through the Tennessee House of Representatives will do nothing to stop "Sex Week" from taking place at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Instead, it declares the event "an outrageous misuse of student fees and grant monies," and says that it "fits nowhere within the mission" of the university, "nor should it ever."
The bill originally condemned the school's administration, which is not involved in the event. An amendment changed it to focus on "the organizers," which is to say, a group of students. The resolution passed a committee vote Wednesday and is scheduled for a full House vote next week.
"If those people who organize this thing want to have it, hey, let them get off campus," state Rep. Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga), the primary sponsor of the resolution, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "They can go out there in a field full of sheep if they want to and have all the Sex Week they want."
Floyd did not return a request for comment from The Huffington Post.
"Sex Week" takes place on the UT-Knoxville campus the first full week of March. The schedule includes discussions about women's health, LGBT issues, hook-up culture and sexual violence. There will also be an aphrodisiac cooking class, a poetry slam, a drag show and a "Sexy Oscars Party."
School administrators have repeatedly reminded lawmakers that no tax dollars are involved in the event -- it is funded entirely by private donations and fees the students have elected to pay.
UT-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek told HuffPost last week that the First Amendment prevents the school administration from shutting down "Sex Week" simply because people find it offensive. Cheek also said his office has received no complaints about the event from alumni or citizens in the community.
More than 4,000 people attended UT-Knoxville's "Sex Week" last year, when similar objections from lawmakers led to the university pulling some of the event's funding. Private donations filled the gap left by the funding cut.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place