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Thread: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

  1. #1
    Randy Guest

    Default OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    The OU newspaper has gone way too far this time. Taping condoms to the corner of the front page of their newspaper? That is so wrong. All they are doing is telling college students to have all the sex they want. Use a condom and you will be safe. WRONG!

    Of course, Planned Parenthood was "happy" to see the school promote safe sex. Heck, they shouldn't be promoting sex, period. This isn't journalism, it is trash. This is an embarrassment to the University of Oklahoma. The new slogan for OU>>>Oklahoma University, the Home of the Sooners, and Condoms.


    Student newspaper addition promotes safe sex
    By Ty McMahan
    The Oklahoman

    With a condom taped to the corner of the front page, the inside of the University of Oklahoma student newspaper held an appropriate assertion.
    “College kids have sex. Barrels of it,” an opinion column said.

    The staff of The Oklahoma Daily hand-placed about 10,000 condoms on the cover of Monday’s edition as part of National Condom Week. The effort took about two hours and kept the staffers up until about 3 a.m.

    “When we went into this it wasn’t ‘let’s start controversy or try to get attention or try to be funny,’” said Sara Ganus, the paper’s editor. “Those are typical reactions, but we did it because we had a message, and it’s a strong one we thought needed to be heard.”

    The prophylactics were stuck to the cover to complement stories about sex education and the need for condom dispensers in OU’s dorms.

    The paper’s opinion page contained an editorial about safe sex that said “if people are going to do the ‘dirty,’ they should do it as cleanly as possible.” The page also had a point-counterpoint on condom dispensers on campus.

    OU student Haifa Awaida, 21, said she was more surprised than offended to find a condom on the front her paper. She said condom machines at OU are a bad idea.

    “I was wondering what parents would think,” Awaida said. “If you get people from a strict, conservative home, what will they think when they come here and find a condom dispenser right next to the pop machine?”

    Bryna Eaton, 21, said the condoms helped emphasize the story.

    “It was effective,” Eaton said. “I think a lot of people picked up the paper that wouldn’t have.”

    Brian Archibald, 18, said the paper took a realistic approach to the issue.

    “They’re not encouraging everyone to go have sex,” Archibald said. “They’re facing reality and doing everyone a favor.”

    Monday’s editorial said the paper was not trying to promote sex by providing condoms.

    “In actuality, we are hoping to encourage students, faculty and staff to practice safer sex if they decide to have sex at all,” the editorial stated.

    Tres Savage, the paper’s managing editor, came up with the idea to put a condom on the cover. He said a professor told him about a publication in Missouri that performed a similar stunt in the 1980s.

    Savage worked with Planned Parenthood, the Regional AIDS Intercommunity Network and the Infectious Diseases Institute at the OU Health Sciences Center to get all the condoms donated.

    “We are up to our knees in sex on this campus and this country,” Savage said. “People need to talk about it and think about it and know the truths about sex by this age.”

    Savage said he expected an uproar, but the phones and e-mail channels at the student newspaper were quiet. He said he took that as a good sign that people on campus understood the newspaper’s intention.

    “It’s not about the condom,” Savage said. “It’s about the story, and we were extremely pleased with how it turned out. There is a lot of valuable information in there.”

    The paper’s editorial advisor, Jack Willis, said he has never seen a staff try an idea like an actual condom on the cover, but he remembers incidents that caused more controversy.

    “Anytime you talk about sex or religion you’re going to get some feedback in Oklahoma,” Willis said.

    Terry Dennison, director of education services for Planned Parenthood, said he was glad to see the student newspaper promote safe sex.

    “It will get people talking about condoms and safe sex,” Dennison said. “A lot of people are sexually active and too embarrassed to bring up ways to stay safe.”

  2. #2
    Jay Guest

    Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    As much as every pastor, mother and father out there would like to deny it, sex is a part of the college lifestyle.

    What the Oklahoma Daily is doing is equipping the students with information and resources so they can make intelligent decisions about sex.

    Unfortunately many college students have never had the serious talk with Mom and Dad about sex. Most of the facts they know about sex are second hand information from misinformed friends or literature from websites and magazines. Friends, websites and magazines tend to leave out the health issues that one might encounter.

    Many college students have no clue on proper hygiene and they do not know how to achieve a healthy sexual relationship. For most it is a pressured into experience or and for some it is a drunken romp that leads to pregnancy or worse sexually transmitted diseases.

    We need to quit hiding from the fact that sex happens in college. We need to equip every student with the right information so each student can make intelligent decisions. I see no issue with college students having access to condoms or other birth control methods.

    Maybe this will allow more people to complete college instead of dropping out to raise a kid or to seek treatment for a disease. That alone will save the taxpayers millions. I could mean fewer babies for the welfare system and less people putting the healthcare system further in to debt.

  3. #3
    Jay Guest

    Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    As much as every pastor, mother and father out there would like to deny it, sex is a part of the college lifestyle.


    What the Oklahoma Daily is doing is equipping the students with information and resources so they can make intelligent decisions about sex.

    Unfortunately many college students have never had the serious talk with Mom and Dad about sex. Most of the facts they know about sex are second hand information from misinformed friends or literature from websites and magazines. Friends, websites and magazines tend to leave out the health issues that one might encounter.


    Many college students have no clue on proper hygiene and they do not know how to achieve a healthy sexual relationship. For most it is a pressured into experience or and for some it is a drunken romp that leads to pregnancy or worse sexually transmitted diseases.


    We need to quit hiding from the fact that sex happens in college. We need to equip every student with the right information so each student can make intelligent decisions. I see no issue with college students having access to condoms or other birth control methods.


    Maybe this will allow more people to complete college instead of dropping out to raise a kid or to seek treatment for a disease. That alone will save the taxpayers millions. It could mean fewer babies for the welfare system and less people putting the healthcare system further in to debt.

  4. #4

    Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    Sex needs no promotion.

    That said, Randy, have you ever set foot into a college classroom? Do you have any concept of what you're talking about?

  5. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    Its a college newspaper. It's M.O. is to stir up people, just like it has done to you. If the Oklahoman had done it, I could see your point.

  6. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    College newspapers are probably where the last bit of honest journalism remains before getting completely ran over by a biased media outlet. I mean could you imagine a story ran on KWTV about this that didn't have an interview with a religous figure or the word "God" used 25 times?

    Like has been said...college kids have sex, typically a lot. Parents may think their kids are being good, but I've lived on campus before (a few years ago)...and I saw what went out. Heck my suite mates typically had their "group sessions" every other night (them and their girlfriends). It annoyed me with the noise that I eventually just left and got a house off campus. Not to say I was the perfect angel, but I can bet you my parents never had the thought cross their mind.

    It would probably shock you how many kids have never seen a condom before, let alone how to use one. Especially schools like OU that do pull a lot of diverse people from the outlying areas.

  7. #7

    Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I only wish that the student newspaper had stapled the condums to the newspaper.

    I kid, I kid.

  8. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I pity the fool who plans to have all the sex he wants with just one condom.

  9. #9

    Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I'm sure that we all have different moral opinions of the stunt, but I hope that we can at least agree that it was in poor taste. On the other hand, I suppose that I must admit, albeit reluctantly, that such a concept is generally passè.

    Shock-stunts like this are sometimes the refuge of those that can't make their case intellectually. I think though that, most often, the perpetrators don't really care as much about the issue they're pushing as they do about the opportunity to defy social mores.

    So the stunt ostensibly designed to promote the issue actually ends up being a distraction from it. The stunt also undermines the credibiity of those who perform it, and thus further detracts from the message.

  10. #10

    Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I'm an OU student and this stunt as you call it is all about being in college. The majority of students thought it was funny, but it did bring attention to the subject of safe sex. Students are usually in their own worlds most of the time, listening to our IPODs and what not and on our campus you generally have to do something over the top to catch students attention.

  11. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I am an OU grad from years back and they did the same STUNT then too. You'd at least think they'd come up with something original.

    If kids made it all the way to college and don't know the need for condoms then I certainly hope we are not leaving sex ed up to the media and a rag like the OU newspaper.

  12. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    But here's the point that's being missed.

    “Those are typical reactions, but we did it because we had a message, and it’s a strong one we thought needed to be heard.”
    If you are a newspaper, your job is to be neutral. When you, as an editor of a newspaper, decide your message is important and you think it must be heard, you're no longer a journalist, you're an advocate. You're no longer running a newspaper.

    The point here is that you can all-but bet you won't here an equal-time offer for those who advocate abstinence, or assert that "safe sex" is a deadly oxymoron. It doesn't matter if you think those positions (pardon the expression) are valid, or right, or wrong; they are the legitimate opposite side of that discussion. But you won't see it, because the paper has taken a position of editorial advocacy in favor of one side of a particular issue.

    That's the very essence of yellow journalism, and I use the term "journalism" lightly. A journalist puts both sides out to be read. This silly, juvenile stunt is nothing more than an Enquirer-caliber stunt to attract attention, and to that extent, it worked.

    Here's another shocker - not everyone has or had "massive amounts" of sex in college. I made a personal decision long before I entered college to abstain, and I held fast to that decision. The notion of attaching condoms to a paper funded by a state-sponsored university is repulsive to me. And I also know that such a position is ridiculed as unrealistic, silly, or ridiculous in the public eye; that's fine, that's the world's choice. For a newspaper to advocate that position is reprehensible.

    People get roiled over conservatives "shoving" their morals down the throats of the rest of the world. When, then, can we expect the OU newspaper to be required, for example, to "stay up to 3AM" attaching copies of the New Testament to their latest editions? Of course, the answer is never. The other side of the question will never be heard, because it has pre-emptively been deemed irrelevant by the people who control the editorial content.

    And those people are precisely the ones who won't hesitate to call conservatives "intolerant." How much more hypocritical can you get?

    -soonerdave

  13. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    This really wasn't a stunt for attention. It is nothing new. University newspapers throughout the nation give out condoms and promote safe sex during National Condom Week and have been for years without much criticism. Most understand that it is a self-sufficient, independent college newspaper that has the right to do what it wishes. OU isn't Oral Roberts or BYU.

    Attacking the newspaper for doing research and providing an unbiased extensive feature on college sexuality is irresponsible. Contrary to what many have said, the only form of opinion was on the editorial page. Abstinence was discussed in the actual paper, although I'm not sure that the article made it on the website. The point is that while many college students choose to abstain from sex, most do not. The paper had every right to do an extensive feature on sex and handled it very professionally. My question is why is there so much criticism for OU's newspaper doing something now that other universities such as Stanford have done for years?

  14. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    People have sex....get over it. But, what's to stop them from being able to go to the gas station or grovery store to get the condoms? I don't think it's the school's responsibility to provide the outlet for purchasing condoms, so I would disagree with putting up dispensers. I don't really care that they put them on the papers, if it offended you, then you didn't have to read the paper that day.

    No one is forcing anyone else to use the condom or confront it....if you don't like it, you don't have to deal with it. Someone else might have really benefitted from it though, so don't dismiss it just because it's not what you think.

  15. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I agree with SoonerDave. I have no problem with some student organization handing out condoms, but I think it is unprofessional for the paper to do so.

  16. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    My question is why is there so much criticism for OU's newspaper doing something now that other universities such as Stanford have done for years?
    That is has been done for years certainly does not imply that it is right to do so. IF Stanford opted to publish papers over the last 20 years asserting 2+2=3, would that make it right merely for having done it for so long?

    Most understand that it is a self-sufficient, independent college newspaper that has the right to do what it wishes. OU isn't Oral Roberts or BYU.
    This has nothing to do with implicit religious affiliations. It has everything to do with remaining neutral about an issue.

    That said, "The Oklahoma Daily" is very much in line with the fundamental erosion of true journalistic ethics throughout the press nationwide.

    -soonerdew

  17. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    As a journalism teacher, I can say that yeah, the OU paper probably has put their ability to remain neutral on the back burner by providing condoms. But, I think people are getting worked up too much over the whole moral/religious thing here because college students are ADULTS. They will make their decisions, and there's nothing you or I can do about it.

    That said, it probably would have been a better idea if a student organization had handed the condoms out instead; then the paper could have covered it as a story and gotten student feedback. However, STD's and AIDS are big issues in our country, and in others, and sometimes it's the media's responsibility to raise awareness about such issues.
    Still corrupting young minds

  18. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I don't care about the moral/religious aspect, but having been a journalism student, I know better than to think this is real journalism. Like SoonerDave said, they've given up journalism for advocacy. Go join the local chapter of Planned Parenthood if you want to do that. If you want to be a journalist, then give both sides of the issue.

  19. Wink Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I just went from a thread where people were agreeing with the thought that prositution should be legalized.... to a thread where condoms are an issue. I agree with basically all that Bandnerd last said, the news paper shouldn't have provided condoms since it's supposed to be neutral. But as a college student myself, I can bet none of the students even considered that. And that is who they're trying to appeal to, the students..... not anyone outside of the college. And if you're not mature enough to deal with the issue of sex by the time you're in college, you SHOULD probably go back to high school to sex ed until you don't blush anytime someone brings it up. I'll use TIM as an example since he proclaimed his love for doing it in another thread....

    Example:

    Tim likes sex.

    If you blushed or giggled, you should probably not be in college.

    I take that back, I laughed.

  20. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    Where is this idea coming from that the newspaper was not neutral in this?

    Anybody who actually had a copy of the paper would know that there were several points of view presented in their feature that day, including the point of view of abstinence being the best form of safe sex.

    The paper did even not address the issue of the condom taping except in the editorial section. Maybe they should have taped the condom there. Every article in the "safe sex" news feature of the paper was presented in an unbiased fashion.

  21. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    Good point? Who here read that issue of the paper? Not I.

  22. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    Kind of hard to read this issue when it's over a year old?

    And then they did it again this year, gaining publicity but frankly, I'm not driving down to Norman to get a college paper.

    If they remained neutral, and presented all sides, then great for them.
    Still corrupting young minds

  23. #23

    Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    ugggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hate to start a reply like this.. Here is my thoughts on this subject. My daughter who is almost 16 has NEVER NEVER been in a sex ed classroom. Want to know why? Its not your job to teach my KID your moral issues or anything else. I have a responsibilty as a mom and a ADULT to do that. My daughter and I are very open in our discussions. We also made a deal with each other that if she is ready to have sex then she will come to me, however I would prefer she did not have sex till marriage, like her mom... Now that being said I am sure most of the people are saying I am sure your daughter talks to you about everything and I can bet you your last dollar she does. Want to know why.. I dont critizise her, we take long drives at night so she dont have to look at me and she can feel more open to discuss things most kids are not comfortable doing. We text all through her school day because I want to know what she is doing, She ditched class one time and called and asked if she could... LOL.. We have had discussions on all sorta things I wont go there with all that, but I bet my daughter is more informed from her mom than most kids in that sex ed class. I am so glad someone is passing out condems I dont care if its the freaking newspaper.. Maybe they need to have a Condem 101 on how to put it on and properly use it..

    Come on!!!!!!!!!! loosen up it is not like the newspaper grabbed 2 minors and put the condem on them and made them have sex.. Oh my HELL!!! you would think adults would have some sense about STD's and safe sex. I am sure that is all they are promoting, besides if parents would have done their job in the first place the kids would not need a newspaper to pass them out.. Take this as a hint, Talk to your kids starting way YOUNG. You wont ever regret it..
    "You can't fix stupid it's foreverrrrrrrrr!!" Ron White

  24. Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    Where is this idea coming from that the newspaper was not neutral in this?
    There used to be a time in the history of journalism wherein the neutrality of an entity holding itself out to be a newspaper was implicit. Your very statement demonstrates how journalism as it is supposed to be practiced has died a very sad death; that is, we shouldn't expect neutrality.

    I think about the type of journalism - particularly investigative journalism - that (on a national scale) brought down Nixon (Woodward and Bernstein), or on a local scale exposed corrupt county commissioners. They investigated, found facts, and exposed the facts.

    These days, "journalism" amounts to inflammatory innuendo against whomever happens to be in power, or which newspaper has the coolest graphics, or which paper is reporting the latest "web poll" as reflective of social sentiment on an issue. That's not journalism; that's unadulterated garbage.

    -SoonerDave

  25. #25

    Default Re: OU Newspaper Goes Too Far

    I didn't read all the posts..but to me its kind of trashy. Don't tell me that college kids have never seen a condom. We all know they're easy to get. How is having a condom machine next to a pop machine in the dorms or wherever any different than putting them on the front of every paper? Possibly seeing condoms lying all around the campus.

    Yea, college kids have sex..but I believe there's a little bit of a problem with it at OU, and this only supports it even more..but that's just my opinion. Kids are gonna do it anyway. But stapling to the front of the paper is a bit much. It got people's attention though and I guess that's what they wanted!

    To me its just kind of trashy and supports even more sexual activity, and like somebody said, one condom isn't going to give somebody all the sex they want. Its not really that big of a deal but its just kind of stupid, to me that is.

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