True Love Week provides alternative

One day after Sex Week 2012 launches this Saturday, students will have the chance to attend an alternative set of activities organized by a group of students who say Sex Week inappropriately emphasizes “sheer, gratuitous and physical pleasure.”

True Love Week, sponsored by Undergraduates for a Better Yale College, will hold seven events between Feb. 5-14 focused on promoting fidelity and love, said Eduardo Andino ’13, co-founder of UBYC. But Sex Week co-director Connie Cho ’13 said in a Wednesday email that she disagreed with UBYC’s characterization of Sex Week, saying that the event will not advocate any particular sex practices but instead offer students the opportunity to discuss sex openly.

“It is not appropriate to characterize Sex Week as trivializing sex simply because we have not taken up arms for a very narrow set of beliefs,” she said. “Opportunities for education and reflection on sex [do] not trivialize sex.”

While Sex Week directors have established a target budget of $20,000 to fund Sex Week events — a goal they are facing difficulties meeting since the University banned corporate sponsors — Andino said True Love Week will have a budget of approximately $6,000. The group has already raised roughly $5,000, mostly from student and alumni donations as well as external sources, such as the Love and Fidelity Network, an organization that encourages pro-life activities on college campuses.

Most of True Love Week’s events — including “Chastity and Human Goods,” “The State of Marriage Today” and “The Person as a Gift” — will be led by college professors who specialize in sexual issues.

True Love Week leaders are considering turning the initiative into an annual event, according to Andino.

Former Sex Week director Colin Adamo ’10 said he thinks Sex Week provides valuable sexual education on campus, but added that True Love Week is an “awesome” idea because it would offer additional perspectives about sexuality at Yale.

“The more voices we have on campus, the better,” Adamo said.

UBYC formed last fall when it circulated a petition to ban Sex Week from campus. The petition, which was created in September, had garnered over 200 signatures as of mid-November.

The Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, which University President Richard Levin convened in April to analyze Yale’s sexual environment, also criticized the biennial event in its November report, in part for featuring “titillating displays, ‘adult’ film stars, and commercial sponsors of such material.” But Levin said in his response to the report that he would allow event directors to draw up a new proposal, which administrators accepted Dec. 20.

Andino said he was “surprised” that administrators approved Sex Week — scheduled to run Feb. 4-14 — because he thought it did not adequately address the concerns brought up in the Advisory Committee’s report.

“There’s still this fundamental assumption [in Sex Week activities] that happy sex is the most promiscuous sex or the most sort of loose and casual sex,” he said.

Eleven students interviewed said they did not plan to attend True Love Week events, though a majority said they appreciated the alternative perspective that the UBYC initiative would present. While some students interviewed said they do not have time to attend either True Love Week or Sex Week activities, others said they disagreed with the way True Love Week approached discussions about sexuality.

“True Love Week seemed mostly concerned with encouraging marriage, and it seemed to have more of a political agenda than creating a safe sexual environment,” Sage Snider ’12 said, adding that she had just reviewed the True Love Week schedule. “I don’t really think Sex Week has any effect on people’s views of sex. If people want to have sex, they are already going to have sex. But if you’re going to have sex, you should be educated.”

True Love Week’s first event, “What They Didn’t Teach You in Sex Ed,” will take place Sunday in Linsly-Chittenden Hall at 3 p.m.

Comments

  • mpl

    I am disappointed by this article’s title and lack of perspective on the fact that True Love Week is complete insanity. I think most of us (other than the 5 or so people involved in its’ organization) would agree on that.

  • YaleTemp

    Completely disagree with the previous poster’s comment. True Love Week is a great idea and a nice counter-balance to the implied agenda of Sex Week.

  • River_Tam

    I’m actually pleasantly surprised by the list of talks scheduled for True Love Week.

    I’m curious to see how it all turns out.

  • GlobalArts

    it’s never “insanity” to think outside the box — it’s amazing how these students get attacked for simply presenting — what is clearly a different viewpoint at Yale. The movie they are presenting “Stripped Stories” is actually very good and well done.

  • GlobalArts

    oops, I mean the spitting game: the college hook up culture is a good movie, “stripped stories” might be interesting too..but this group is not presenting it — go to both!

  • PhysicsAlum

    “The Person as a Gift” and “Human Goods” both sound mildly terrifying.

  • yayasisterhood

    PhysicsAlum only thinks that because ze has neither an understanding of human dignity nor respect for human life.

    • HighStreet2010

      ouch

  • xfxjuice

    True Love Week at Yale should provide events which emphasize the many different ways couples can use sex to strengthen the bonds of their relationship instead of (seemingly) promoting marriage and chastity. But of course, True Love Week has yet to occur, so it will be interesting to see. I will most definitely be attending several of the events on the itinerary they have posted.

  • dalet5770

    I sure hope Yale stops widening the circle of sex week. Next thing you know we’ll be discussing our pets and it will devolve into healthcare……………….

  • Frashizzle

    Why shouldn’t there be a True Love Week that promotes chastity and marriage? Those are very important ideals to a lot of people. Why insult the organizers? I’m speaking as a social liberal; why does everyone have to start making ad hominem attacks as soon as someone advances a conservative view? You say: “You’re stupid and backward. You must be brainwashed by the church.” You’re advancing that claim because you don’t have a legitimate solvency argument against the proposal.

  • joey00

    Sex Week – True Love Week – Spring Fling Week – Wanton Lust Week – Robert Mapplethorpe Week – Happy Trail Dirt Path Week -….March is “Please get laid and leave our investments alone week

  • Branford73

    March is “Please get laid and leave our investments alone week”

    FTW :) [even though March is a month and not a week]

  • BrightSide2013

    Andino’s words are absurd. “There’s still this fundamental assumption [in Sex Week activities] that happy sex is the most promiscuous sex or the most sort of loose and casual sex,” he said.” How many Sex Week events did this guy attend? Has he even read the calendar for Sex Week 2012? Where does it say that sex must be “promiscuous and loose.” His choice of words show how judgmental he and the others in UBYC can be. I would support a group that banded together with Sex Week to arrange more events centered on healthy relationships, but I can’t bring myself to support “True Love Week.”

  • 109

    There is something about UBYC that bothers me a great deal, and it is that they petitioned to ban Sex Week. It makes me think that its members don’t even know what sex week is about, just like the crazy people who think Harry Potter should be banned for witchcraft. It looks like they think Sex Week PROMOTES having a lot of sex.

    That is simply not the case. A glance at the billboard at High Street could show that.

    And again! Sex and True Love are not mutually exclusive! I don’t like this notion that sex is the opposite of true love.

    An event promoting healthy and fulfilling relationships would be wonderful. An event promoting chastity would be fine. But trying to BAN Sex Week, with all its varied topics and discussions, in the hopes of replacing it with the idea that chastity and true love are somehow tied together, that’s just too much.

    As Ms. Snider said, “If you’re going to have sex, you should be educated.” I support Sex Week and its efforts to openly and honestly discuss topics that are usually awkward to discuss. In doing so, it gives us a safe and accepting environment to talk about these things and learn from each other and the speakers.

    And an organization that tries to silence an educating voice? “Complete insanity” is too kind.

  • RexMottram08

    The not-so-secret truth about Sex Week: it’s a sh*tty event. Poorly run, tacky, tired. The same usual roster of “shocking” porn stars, generic advice dispensing sex “therapists” and worn out hippy academics who speak unintelligible babble about “heteronormativity.”

    • LDBrigade

      By golly, RexMottram08. Have you even as much as skimmed through the schedule for this year’s Sex Week?

      I’ll make it even easier for you, here: http://sexweek2012.org/calendar/

      • RexMottram08

        Thank you for providing the proof I needed.

        /yawn