This is the response that I received from Rep. Bob Ramsey. My follow-up is on top of the response, so you may wish to work your way up, rather than down. No UT official’s name was provided, which I assume was redacted by Bob.
What exactly are student speaker fees? Who pays these fees? Are students, who don’t support this, required to pay fees which ultimately contribute to funding this filth?
Are members of the public, free to use the University of Tennessee campus to promote any filth they desire, so long as the filth isn’t illegal activities?
Let freedom ring!
From: “Bob Ramsey” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:26pm
Subject: RE: University of Tennessee – Public university Sex Week to teach masturbation, when orgasms are a ‘political act’
It seems the University of Tennessee shares the concerns of citizens and members of this legislative body with regards to how sex week has been portrayed and marketed to the public as an event funded by tax dollars.
I have taken the liberty of attaching the correspondence sent to me by The University of Tennessee regarding Sex Week at UT Knoxville. I hope this satisfies any questions you may have.
Thank you for your message concerning your constituent’s questions regarding Sex Week at UTK – an event organized and hosted by students at our Knoxville Campus. After reviewing some of the information referred to by your constituent, I share the same feeling and concern about the appropriateness of some of the marketing materials and promotions.
I have verified that no state appropriations, tuition monies, or tax dollars have been committed or will be used in any aspect of the event. All funds will be derived from grants to promote personal responsibility and awareness, student speaker fees, and private funds, some of which will be raised by the student organizations sponsoring the event.
As you know, the First Amendment restricts the ability of the University administration to direct or influence the spending of student speaker fee monies. Additionally, the University cannot prevent registered student organizations from using university facilities for these events. However, I can assure you that the University has done all that the First Amendment allows it to do in this circumstance.
Again, I understand and appreciate you and your constituent’s concerns and likewise appreciate your continued support of The University of Tennessee.
Rep. Matlock has brought legislation HB2450 Education, Higher – As introduced, prohibits use of institutional revenues, including student activity fees, to engage visiting or guest speakers for events at public institutions of higher education. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 7; Title 49, Chapter 8 and Title 49, Chapter 9.