Dec 102003
 
Authors: Shannon Joy Seal CSU graduate

Since I began studying at CSU, I have chosen to not read The

Collegian for the same reasons that I don’t watch many television

channels or listen to some radio shows and music – if the content

of some media form is offensive to me, I do not have to read, watch

or listen to it.

However, recent events on campus and ads and articles in The

Collegian have been brought to my attention that disturb me. The

safety of young college students, women, faculty and staff, and the

community can be affected by the behavior of people influenced by

media. I may not read The Collegian articles that have explicit

content or photographs, as have been recently found in the paper,

but I can be affected by people who are learning from many media

outlets that it is acceptable to be disrespectful toward women, to

objectify the female body and to act out sexually toward others, as

evidenced by the numbers of cases of sexual assault to which the

CSU Police Department responds.

I find it ironic that the same day an article describing, quite

explicitly, what a guest sexologist had to say, The Collegian

reported on the rather high incidence of sexual assault on our

campus.

The ads for the sexologist’s visit featured a drawing of an

intimate act between a man and woman. The article describing the

talk was filled with information on “exploring new sexual avenues.”

The next day had a photograph of an almost nude Paris Hilton.

Outrageous.

Detective Eric Lintz of CSUPD says that “garbage in – garbage

out” applies to the influence of explicit media and other sources,

for example MTV programs and Internet pornography, on young people

today. The pervasive sexual messages in today’s culture “(have)

definitely affected this generation,” said Lintz.

CSU is an academic institution, and people from countries around

the world come here to study to better their lives, their families

and their communities. I believe more caution and editorial

responsibility concerning the pictures and content in ads and

articles would still allow The Collegian to report on events on

campus and in the world and receive the business advertising money

needed to run the paper without compromising decency and possibly

the safety of students, faculty and staff.

According to Lintz, “The Collegian, as a media outlet, has a

responsibility to help promote safety in the CSU community and Fort

Collins. The Collegian should think about the audience and do the

right thing.”

Perhaps racy ads, overtly sexual article content and obscene

photographs appeals to some of The Collegian’s reading audience,

but propriety and safety, I hope, appeal to many others.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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