Tuesday, December 13, 2005
On this day:

Sex at the Capstone

That Crimson White sex column I posted about last week is getting quite a bit of attention this week.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Elizabeth Stierwalt didn't ask for the hate mail calling her names and questioning her beliefs. But it came just the same.

The University of Alabama senior created a buzz on campus earlier this semester with the debut of her weekly sex column in The Crimson White, the student-run newspaper, and it hasn't always been positive.

"I just wanted to write my little column and that be that," she said. "It's a little uncomfortable getting all this attention, and it's just really weird because I'm such a private person."

So, since when does a "private person" write crap like this, this, and this? Just because you like to talk about a person's privates doesn't make you a private person, Ms. Stierwalt.

Despite the criticism, Stierwalt plans to continue with the column next semester, and UA administrators have no intention of asking or forcing the paper to drop its weekly sex column.

"I really believe in it," she said. "Everybody has sex, and instead of cowering behind this morality, lets talk about it and get it out in the open."

Think about that for a minute - morality as the refuge of cowards. Is there any idea that harbors more destructive potential for a free society than that? I can't think of one.

For a real example of "cowering," one needs to look no further than University of Alabama administrators. To them, all of this should be treated as a "learning experience" for the students - not as a time for giving advice or expressing disapproval.

The criticism has seemed to crescendo since Stierwalt's last column, published Dec. 1, because parents of high school students, on campus for a youth summit, saw the column.

Margaret King, vice president for student affairs, said a small number of the parents complained about the column and threatened to take action.

"That is something they tell me, but I have no idea if they've followed through with it," she said.

King said the university was not going to pressure the paper to remove the column, nor are there discussions to withhold money from the paper.

Each semester, $4 per student is allotted to The Crimson White, comprising about 20 percent of the paper's budget, said Editor Chris Otts.

"I don't pretend to have influence over The CW," King said. "The content of The CW is determined by the students. That's how it's done on college campuses."

King said she has directed complaints to Otts.

"It's a learning experience for those students," she said.

Your tax dollars...your university.