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No place for pornography in Vanguard

I am very disappointed by your lack of discretion with what is appropriate to place in the Vanguard. In the May 15th Vanguard I found the article entitled “Art, pornography, censorship” extremely offensive. In truth it was not so much the article that was disturbing to me, but more the images alongside the article. Needless to say, I have learned a few things from this experience. First I learned what the US Supreme Court rulings have defined as pornography. Pornography is any graphic image that sexually arouses an individual by viewing it. Some call this art, but even though I don’t find male genitals arousing (I know many women that would) this is obviously pornographic.

So I beg the question, why is it that you felt this was something that was OK to flaunt in a public, free publication? I pay taxes and school fees (both of which go to your organization) and it is understandable that I or anyone will not agree with everything, but not only do I not agree with this, but I find it offensive. I find it offensive not because the human form is ugly by any means. I am offended because in your choice to display these porn images you have disrespected the human form … playing it off as “aww its no big deal.” In conclusion I did not write this letter just to complain. I wrote this letter to request a formal public apology from all who played a role in allowing this offense. Since the medium of choice has been the Vanguard so far, your apology (should you choose) will be sufficient if printed in the Vanguard.

Travis Garrison

Junior, Computer Science

Editor’s Response: The choice to run photos of paintings rendered of both male genitalia and nude females was made with much thought and consideration. The paintings hung in our galleries and hallways. We felt it was necessary for our readers to see the objects involved in the controversy in order to understand the gravity of the issue.

Mr. Garrison is incorrect in suggesting that the photos published were pornographic and illegal. The Vanguard is not intended to arouse and our readers do not pick it up in order to become aroused.

His letter does, however, highlight the continuing debate over what is appropriate to display publicly and what is not. The art department chose to display nude females in the hallway while placing the paintings of male genitalia behind locked doors. It might be noteworthy that Mr. Garrison made no mention of the photograph of nude women hanging in Neuberger Hall, located just beneath the photograph of the penises.