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A form letter response to Porn and Popcorn

On Monday I wrote to the Purdue Student Union Board about the problems with the Porn and Popcorn event. I thought I may have slightly better luck since I somewhat know the President (had a couple classes together, are Facebook friends, will wave hello when we pass, etc). Here’s my email:

This past Friday I and approximately 25 members of the Society of Non-Theists attended Porn and Popcorn, an event cosponsored by the Stewart Cooperative and (according to the flyers) PSUB. I am writing you because I am very disappointed that PSUB decided to sponsor such an event, as it seems against its purpose to “Present programs designed to meet current entertainment, cultural, recreational, social, and educational needs of students.” I have two major complaints about the event:

1. No part of the event was based on factual or scientific information even though it claimed to be education. They presented gross misconceptions and outright lies about human sexuality to young adults, individuals who need proper health information the most. They went as far as saying that “Protective sex is a joke” and that you would get diseases and pregnant no matter what sort of contraception you used, which is simply a falsehood. It appalls me that such dangerous information could be connected to PSUB‘s name, especially when Purdue University and PUSH work so hard to educate Purdue students about sex. If anything, this was detrimental to the educational needs of the students.

2. The event slandered non-Christian students by stating that “To connect with an unbeliever is to connect with the devil” and “If he can’t be a faithful to God, he can’t be faithful to you.” As an atheist and the President of the Society of Non-Theists, I am extremely concerned that PSUB would sponsor an event that told downright lies about a significant percentage of Purdue’s student body. Their discussion that non-believers are of the devil and are certainly going to cheat on their significant other is troubling, and hopefully you can understand why. In addition to this, when the speaker was asking questions about audience member’s boyfriends and girlfriends, and asked if anyone had a “crazy drama girlfriend,” two of our female members raised their hands. A student then walked by and called our group “Faggots.” I know neither Stewart nor PSUB can control audience members, but this sort of “If you’re not a straight sex-abstaining Christian, there’s something wrong” attitude seemed to be the main theme of the event. I understand that the majority of Purdue students are Christians, and thus PSUB will likely sponsor Christian programming, but I am disappointed that this event was not welcoming to non-Christians.

I in no way want to ban further Christian events from being held at Purdue – they have every right to have their voice heard – but it worries me that PSUB, which is supposed to represent the student body as a whole, was associated with such an event. Thank you for listening to my concerns, and hopefully these problems won’t occur again in the future.

Jennifer McCreight
[email protected]

Unfortunately, all I got in response was a form email:

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for your interest in campus programming at Purdue and your concerns in regards to the Porn and Popcorn event. Part of PSUB’s mission is to promote student programming on campus that enrich and entertain and recognize the campus’ diversity of interests. One way we meet this mission is by offering co-sponsorship opportunities to other student organizations seeking to hold programs on campus. We provided monetary support to the Stewart Co-operative Council for this event to help promote campus programming. The information they provided on their co-sponsorship application met our requirements and so the event co-sponsorship was granted by our Board of Directors. If you would like to further view the co-sponsorship guidelines and application, it can be found on our website at union.purdue.edu/psub.

Thanks again for your interest and concerns and I’m sorry you did not enjoy the event.

Wow, talk about a non response. So it’s totally okay that they provided misinformation and lies about sex and non-Christians because they didn’t include those things on the forms? Is there absolutely no consequences for people who do such things, or is it that once you get PSUB’s money you can do whatever you want with it? They apologized for me not having fun (even though the event did amuse me, but not they way they intended), but didn’t apologize for anything that really mattered.

I think it’s time for a letter to our student newspaper.