04 April 2009

Porn and UMD

XXX Film Screening Spells Lost Money for University of Maryland After Senate Intervenes

Tickets were selling fast for Saturday night's showing of a "XXX blockbuster" at the University of Maryland's student union. (Pirates! Skeletons! An orgy of belly dancers!) Then, like a douse of cold water, the state Senate stepped in.

During debate yesterday over the state budget -- an exercise usually devoid of sex appeal -- a conservative senator drew his colleagues' attention to the scheduled showing of "Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge," a hard-core porn film, at the state's flagship university.

The award-winning sequel is almost 2 1/2 hours' worth of, uh, swashbuckling. The cast is full of actors whose names are registered trademarks. The film is full of special effects (to say the least).

Legislators were not impressed.

Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore County) called it "shocking" and offered a budget amendment: Any public university that allowed the screening of a triple-X film would forfeit state funding -- about $424 million next year in U-Md.'s case.
Being a UMD student and knowing Dr Harris, I've had three different people email me about this. I'm more amused than anything. I mean, really? Porn? We couldn't even get approval to set one of the lecture halls up for a Bourne marathon or to watch last year's UEFA Champions League games, so I can see why porn might be disallowed.
Administrators canceled the screening. And although some advocacy groups were relieved, many students were mad.
Fellow Terapins: get your porn like college students everywhere — for free on the internet. I happen to notice that Stagnetti's Revenge seems to be available and well-seeded on BitTorrent if you're that disappointed.
[Mad] not because of the porn, said Liz Ciavolino, a sophomore who is active in the student group Feminism Without Borders, but because of something she thought was worse: "I really don't think the state should bully us around with their budget power."
So the state government is supposed to keep shoveling money into the university without any oversight or control? Does Ciavolino not understand how a tax-payer funded university works? The state doesn't just cut budget checks and then walk away.

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