Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Students bare all for UP nude centennial run

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on the naked oblation run at the University of the Philippines.  The run has been an annual event at the UP, but this year according to Armand Padilla, a fraternity alumnus, the new run was a part of the University’s centennial celebration with the blessing of the University’s centennial committee.

The Times gave the impression that the nudity was engaged in only by fraternity members.  But such was not the case as indicated by the following photo-

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View other photos of the run within the environs of UP.  The pictures do speak for themselves in terms of the success of this event.

And the dankprofessor cannot help but note that our last posting reported that the University of New Hampshire terminated its Freshman camp because of the nude rituals of the camp counselors.  Truly we have two different worlds here with the Philippines being eons “ahead” of New Hampshire.  It seems that it was only a few years ago that the Philippines was dominated by the sexually repressive Marcos.  Better to have public nudity than closeted shoe fetishes.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | exhibitionism, higher education, nudity, University of the Philippines | , , | Leave a comment

UNH Freshman camp abolished because of counselor nudity

Freshman camp at the University of New Hampshire is no more.  Such is a result of freshman camp counselors, both male and female counselors, getting naked.

The New Hampshire Union Leader quoted a UNH disciplinary report in the following terms-

Counselors got naked for campers on two occasions: during a skit and when campers were departing on a bus, the report says. In the second incident, female counselors lifted their shirts for campers, while several male counselors mooned campers and other male counselors stood by naked, with only socks or hats covering themselves.

In addition, one counselor urinated on herself during a talent show skit, the report says.

“The counselors all wildly clapped and cheered” in response to the urination, the report says.

Although UNH faculty members attend portions of the three-night, four-day camp, none were on hand for any of the antics that led to the camp’s closure.

The disciplinary report indicated that counselor nudity was nothing new going back as far as 2004.  The report also expressed concern that counselor nudity could potentially be considered as a form of sexual harassment.  Although no harassment charges had been filed or represented a clear and present danger of filing, the powers that be felt that the prudent thing to do was to close the camp down.

Anne Lawing, UNH’s senior assistant vice president for student affairs said “the university is replacing freshman camp with an as-yet-undecided program that will focus on leadership skills and healthy involvement in campus life.

Freshman camp is not funded by UNH, but UNH has the final say as to the continuance of Freshman camp.

As for students who attended Freshman camp this past summer, one camper framed the situation in the following terms in a letter to Union Leader.

I was very taken aback by the above article as I have myself went to camp this past summer. The activities that took place may have gotten slightly out of hand, but were not like this article describes. I got to know many of the counselors personally and I highly doubt that they would not want to cooperate with the administration and devise a board to side step the university. I met the people I feel most comfortable with today at camp and I truly believe it is because the counselors were able to help break the ice by acting foolish themselves so we might all have something to talk about.

And another student commented-

I would wonder exactly what kind of reporting goes on at the Union Leader, reading this newspaper. Being an alcohol/substance free student at UNH for the fall 2007 Semester I attended, I cannnot agree with much of what this article has to say. I attended freshman camp, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had at UNH. The counselors were supportive, friendly, helpful…for someone like me, who is not good in social situation, and doesn’t do well with crowds, I had thought that Freshman Camp would not be at all for me. Furthermore, I can report NO nudity whatsoever during my stay at the camp. There were certainly suggestive themes to some of the activities, but that is not only a fact of life, but a very unavoidable fact of life at university. If anything, the camp prepared those who attended for the real side of UNH and most college campuses – the truth that sex and substances are ubiquitous and common throughout the post-secondary education system in this country, and no amount of conservative right-wing narrow-mindedness can change that. I would question the responsible journalism of this article as it seems that no priority was given whatsoever to interviewing those who attended this organization, those who were responsible for its administration, or indeed anyone except those responsible for its end. As an attendant of UNH and Freshman Camp 2007, I am both offended and disgusted that reporting has fallen to this level of mud-slinging one-sided opinion-based slander.
– Travis Gates, Pembroke

Clearly, Freshman camp had much to offer.  Such camps help students to transition to entirely new environs.  And very importantly, these students when they arrive on campus, already have friends which helps to make this transition a little less difficult.

The dankprofessor cannot read the minds of the counselors as to their motivations for engaging in the reported nudity antics.  However, given that these behaviors had been going on for a number of years, such can be viewed as social bonding rituals, rituals which function to differentiate group members from the larger society and then make the exiting process a little less difficult.

No matter that the antics did not include any sexual contact, Freshman camp had to go.  We have two different worlds here- the world of the young at heart and the world of the prudent and the conservative. And for the prudent and conservative, it may have been that their final judgment was based on fear of sexual harassment suits; that some anonymous other at some future time may be offended and decide to sue.  If such be the case, how terribly sad that the legalists and the lawyer possessed play such a pervasive role in campus life.

Oh, and let us not forget that the antics of the Freshman camp were nothing compared to the booze based bonding rituals of university based fraternities and sororities throughout the United States.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | ethics, exhibitionism, higher education, nudity, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics, University of New Hampshire | , | 2 Comments

dankprofessor apologizes

The dankprofessor apologizes to Sharon Warner.  I referred to her as the Writing Director and not the Creative Writing Director.  Such was my failure.  In fact, maybe this whole Lisa Chavez story is a creative writing project.  Might this be a creative way of getting a publisher interested in this story as a book to be? 

April 5, 2008 Posted by | higher education, lisa chavez, sadomasochism, sex, University of New Mexico | | Leave a comment

   

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