Editorial Board WB

This past Wednesday, Emory College released the last of five strategic reports which discussed plans for establishing new initiatives announced in tandem with the September 2012 department changes. These “new directions” included focuses on Digital Studies and New Media, China Studies and Neuroscience.

The most recent report on Digital Studies and New Media discussed Emory’s Journalism program, which will close at the end of this semester due to the September 2012 department changes. The report suggests that the College retain many of its journalism courses given their emphasis on new media. The report mentioned discussions about incorporating such courses into the Film and Media Studies department.

Unfortunately, because this report was released four months past the expected deadline, it was not published in time to provide “timely advice” to College Dean Robin Forman, as the report itself mentions. Consequently, the decisions about journalism courses for next year have been “random” and “disconnected,” eliminating many of the courses that the committee recommended to keep. The report states the committee chair met with Forman last summer to inform him of the recommendations that the report would make.

We at the Wheel understand the necessity of a long-term focus for the University; it is important that Emory plans initiatives that will take decades to implement in order to create thoughtful and eminent academics. However, as students that are often only at the University for four years, we will be unable to experience the full impact of initiatives like Digital Studies or China Studies. Instead, we feel acutely the dearth of the departments and programs that will be officially ending this semester, which include the Journalism program and the Visual Arts department.

We believe that the presence of the Journalism program that will remain after this semester is insufficient for a well-rounded new media or digital studies education. Additionally, while we appreciate the continued presence and emphasis of visual arts on campus with the new Integrated Visual Arts Co-Major announced by Emory’s Center for Creativity and Arts (CCA), this presence is a shadow of what the Visual Arts department offered. We do not believe that the reinstitution of these programs is feasible, but we hope that the University will infuse the remains of these disciplines with more strength and power.

We regret the lost vigor of these disciplines that we will feel during the remainder of our time at Emory, but we have hope that the University will develop the new initiatives to serve its community in the years to come.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.

Editorial Board WB

Almost 75 percent of college student respondents in a 2011 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) study of students diagnosed with mental health issues said they experienced a mental health crisis while in school. Yet the stigma surrounding mental health issues is one of the biggest barriers to accessing mental health care.

Emory offers a vast number of resources, including the Emory Counseling Center, the Student Helpline, which can be reached at 404-727-4357 and is active seven days a week from 8:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., and websites on the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) page, such as “Emory Cares 4 U,” which lists numerous resources to learn more about mental illnesses as well as necessary phone numbers to utilize in times of immediate crisis.

Despite the availability of these resources, many students with mental illnesses are still reluctant to seek help. We believe that this is due in part to the discourse surrounding mental issues – calling our friends “insane” for doing something abnormal, or joking about suicide – as well as the lack of conversation surrounding mental illnesses on campus relative to the amount of student experiencing these illness.

We recognize and applaud the work of student groups such as Active Minds, the Emory Helpline and the Rollins School of Public Health’s Emory Mental Health Initiative (EMHI) that aim to facilitate this conversation, and we also encourage the student body to collectively take part. Campaigns such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) #IWillListen, in which people promise to lend an ear to anyone who needs it, can help create more open dialogue.

We also encourage students to be more cognizant of the language they use in daily conversation, taking into account that the casual, perhaps thoughtless use of phrases such as “I’m going to kill myself” or “You’re so bipolar” can undermine and trivialize the struggles of those experiencing mental illnesses.

We at the Wheel would also like to encourage the University to continue making a greater commitment to support those with mental illnesses. As the prices of pharmaceuticals like anti-depressants rise, we recognize that more students may seek help from Emory Counseling Services, much of which is funded through the Mental Health and Counseling Fee attached to the Student Activity Fee (SAF).

While we understand the need to balance funding for multiple purposes, we encourage the University to re-evaluate the way in which this money is allocated to ensure that the money appropriated to mental health programs is being spent in the most efficient manner, especially regarding the responsiveness and efficacy of its counseling services. The University also plays an important role in creating a campus culture that fosters broader engagement on issues of mental health and actively promotes treatment and care.

For example, to make an initial appointment with Counseling and Psychological Services, a student has to call or make an appointment in-person with the Counseling Center rather than being able to use the online Patient Portal. This could potentially deter students who are already hesitant to attend counseling services for the first time from seeking important treatment.

Additionally, students may not be able to see a certain therapist for an extended amount of time due to insurance constraints. We urge the Counseling Center to inform students of these restrictions prior to seeking treatment in order to allow potential clients to make an informed decision. We hope that students are able to connect with the therapists at the Counseling Center with the amount of time allotted.

Furthermore, we hope the University is looking to identify any areas for improvement within the Counseling Center, which holds a profound importance on a college campus, where students may be dealing with mental health conditions.

As we move forward, we hope that the issue of mental illnesses continues to receive more attention from both the University and the entire student body, so we can collectively better serve students who are experiencing mental disabilities or who may feel stigmatized by their mental illnesses.

Mental illnesses can impact anyone at anytime and should be treated with the respect and seriousness that they deserve.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.

The Emory Wheel Editorial Board

As University-wide elections were held earlier this month, the ballot included a list of eight proposed amendments to the Student Government Association’s (SGA) constitution. Despite controversy surrounding the legitimacy of these amendments, all eight passed overwhelmingly.

We at the Wheel previously commented in our April 4 staff editorial “Spring Elections Mired in Problems” on the problems surrounding the passage of these amendments. These issues included vague, ambiguous wording on the ballot and lack of accessibility to students prior to voting.

Now, newly-elected College-wide representative Aaron Tucek has filed an official complaint against the SGA Elections Board’s lack of procedure regarding these amendments. The resulting hearing, held by the Constitutional Council, has only reinforced our belief in the stance that we affirmed two weeks ago and made us all the more wary of the elections process. We are frustrated by SGA’s lack of democratic process and encourage the Constitutional Council to validate this complaint and consider overturning the referendum.

It is clear that the Elections Board violated the elections code. The SGA constitution explicitly states that all proposed amendments must be sent to students at least 48 hours before the elections. Instead, students received an email 20 minutes before the ballot went out. While this may not seem like an egregious violation, it may set a dangerous precedent and undermine the validity of the Elections Code.

The Election Board’s primary argument was that, though they did not specifically send out an email, the amendments were available to the students beforehand. In an April 15 Wheel article, College senior and Elections Board Chair Matthew Pesce, who represented the Elections Board during the hearing, cited the Wheel and the SGA website as a resource through which students could have accessed the bill.

Though we distributed this information, the Elections Board should have itself distributed the information through a University-wide email using accessible, succinct wording that would be used on the ballot — which should perhaps be voted on by SGA members — to describe the changes to the Constitution. SGA should be responsible for disseminating this information to its constituents in order to make voting as informed a process as possible. While this information was available on its website, the Elections Board has a democratic responsibility to attempt to make elections as educated as possible.

Pesce also openly acknowledged that he had not read the entirety of the referendum and that few students would have paid attention if the Elections Board had publicized the referendum. This gives the impression that the Elections Board holds cynicism at best and lack of interest at worst in the elections process and that it believes students feel similarly. Whether that is true or not, it is the role of SGA and its Elections Board to reach out to students and attempt to increase interest in the elections within the student body, not to show disinterest themselves. We are disturbed by this presentation of SGA officers: it is their very duty to be informed.

We acknowledge that part of the student population will not demonstrate interest in these issues no matter what SGA does. However, it is SGA’s responsibility to create accessibility in its elections, and it is unacceptable to condone a violation to the Elections Code because of perceived student apathy.

We strongly urge the Constitutional Council to decide in favor of Tucek and to reverse the referendum.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.

Bill Fox

Emory alumnus, former administrator and professor Bill Fox passed away Friday evening at the Emory University Hospital. We at the Wheel want to offer our condolences to Fox’s family, friends and colleagues. Fox was an important member of the Emory community, and his contributions and dedication to our University were tremendous. He will truly be missed.

The Emory Wheel Editorial Board

Last month, Georgia’s state legislature passed the controversial “Safe Carry Protection Law,” which is commonly known as the “Guns Everywhere” bill and has been deemed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) as the most comprehensive pro-gun rights law introduced in recent history.

Among its provisions, many of which are already present in other states, the law would allow licensed Georgians to carry concealed weapons in bars, clubs, airports, churches that opt in and certain government buildings. The bill originally included a provision that allowed guns to be carried on college campuses, but this was dropped after public opposition. The bill is currently awaiting the approval of Republican​ Governor Nathan Deal and is expected to be signed into law.

​The bill was passed on a party line vote, with the sole exception of 2014 gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Jason Carter, and likely aims to strengthen a Republican core of voters in preparation for this fall’s state elections.

​We at the Wheel acknowledge the political nature of gun legislation, but regardless of one’s position on the rights of personal gun ownership, both Democrats and Republicans should strive toward the goal of reducing gun violence.

Proponents of this bill claim that the expanded presence of “good guys with guns” will prevent incidents such as mass shootings, while the bill’s opponents argue that putting even more guns on the street — especially in bars, where risky, alcohol-fueled decisions are more likely to take place — or in other often-crowded places like nightclubs or airport lobbies will lead to an even greater amount of gun violence. Additionally, this bill includes a staunch “Stand Your Ground” law, an “absolute defense” that defendants who use guns in violent attacks can use in court.

We at the Wheel believe this legislation does little to address the root causes of gun violence, however complex they may be, and in light of its extremely likely approval, we believe that it is imperative to re-examine our state’s background check laws, especially regarding mental health.

Currently, Georgia’s code only places restrictions on gun ownership on those who have been hospitalized for alcohol or drug abuse or mental health issues within the past five years. This standard is extremely lax compared to states such as Hawaii, which restricts individuals from owning firearms if they have been acquitted of a crime on the grounds of mental illness or have been deemed not responsible for a criminal act due to a mental disease. The state of Hawaii also restricts the possession of firearms to individuals diagnosed with a significant behavioral, emotional or mental disorder as defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

We realize that restrictions such as these may further stigmatize mental health issues, but we feel that this law’s broad-sweeping expansion of gun-carrying zones is incompatible with the current background check process required by Georgia. This law, more than anything, is a brash political statement that has neglected to realistically take into account its implications. If the Georgia legislature intends to move forward with expanding gun-carrying zones, we encourage them to confront the issue of mental health that has been swept under the rug for so long in national debates surrounding firearm possession. ​While the “Safe Carry Protection Law” may partially be a political gesture to show state sponsorship of gun rights, we believe that this may set a dangerous legal precedent and may further politicize and exacerbate the issues surrounding gun violence.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.

The Emory Wheel Editorial Board

Last week, the Student Programming Committee (SPC) planned and implemented Dooley’s Week, Emory’s largest school spirit event series. We at the Wheel believe this year’s Dooley’s Week was overall successful but marred by several problems.

Taste of Emory 

Monday’s Taste of Emory was delicious and fun but suffered from the same problems that it has in the past. The food offered by local vendors was tasty, but the amount of food offered was rarely proportionate to the length of time spent waiting in line. The lines did not specify what would be offered, making long waits a gamble. We also thought that the lack of labeling for food offered at the end of lines left those who follow vegetarian, vegan and/or other specified diets in an even greater predicament. We suggest that Taste of Emory increase the number of tents and stands to disperse and shorten lines, while also offering a smaller selection of larger meals. The addition of picnic tables near the tents may also help Taste of Emory be a more enjoyable social experience. Finally, we also recommend more music at the event, perhaps featuring student groups providing live music.


Tuesday’s new Speakeasy event was a unique addition to the week’s roster that featured Emory students and the Asia Project performing spoken word poetry in a comfortable, enjoyable environment. The event was a great alternative for students who aren’t interested in the usual Dooley’s Week fare or who wanted to diversify their Dooley’s Week experience. However, the event’s details were not advertised clearly, which may have turned students away from the event who would otherwise have joined. That said, the event was an overall success and a fortunate addition to Dooley’s Week.

Wonderful Wednesday

In keeping with tradition, this special Wonderful Wednesday was a great experience. Particular praise goes out to the candy bar, a fun element to the Dooley’s Week “Wonka” theme. The Oompa Loompa performance group, though a bit invasive, was a bizarre and thrilling environmental element to the beautifully decorated Asbury Circle.

Chris D’Elia

Chris D’Elia’s performance was funny and enjoyable, and we were glad to see that the well-worn “comedian in a church” joke made a return, although we at the Wheel still find it unfortunate that there is no better campus space for large non-musical performances. We also appreciate Thursday’s presence of the chocolate fountain, another fun and delicious nod to the Dooley’s Week theme.

Dooley’s Ball/Spring Band Party

We are disappointed that the Friday event was cancelled, but we understand and appreciate SPC’s proactive consideration of weather and safety concerns. However, due to Friday’s cancellation, we and many other students were expecting a particularly special Dooley’s Ball/Spring Band Party crossover. The event began unfortunately because opener Chet Faker had to cancel within hours of the event, but we recognize the extenuating circumstances. We expected greater amounts of food at the event and think that food service should have been staggered for more consistent availability. There were also transportation issues getting to and from Clairmont Campus. Clairmont is a large residential campus with many off-campus residential areas surrounding it that use the shuttles, and we think that SPC should work to coordinate an increased number of shuttles running between Clairmont and main campus for the large events, especially on the weekend. The absence of an opener also meant that a playlist was looped for most of the actual event, creating a repetitive and anxious environment. And following the idea of encouraging school spirit, we believe SPC should return to emphasizing the tradition of costumes at Dooley’s Ball. This is one of the Emory student body’s few large traditions, and SPC should try to encourage it in the future.

However, we at the Wheel think that the most unfortunate part of the night was the audience’s behavior. The audience threw glow sticks at the stage for much of the event, oftentimes directly at Chance The Rapper. This shows an enormous lack of maturity and respect on the audience’s part. Even if all of the things being thrown were not from Emory students, we must recognize the responsibility students have for seeing that their guests act respectfully. The implications of this rude indifference may very well be far-reaching, as it may make it difficult to secure performers in the future.

All things considered, we enjoyed seeing Emory student spirit emerge, however briefly, and we at the Wheel applaud the obviously great effort on SPC’s part in coordinating a week of programming aimed at appealing to the whole student body.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.

The Emory Wheel Editorial Board

Earlier this week, students across Emory voted in the University-wide elections.

There were some welcomed changes this year, specifically the extended time to vote. We believe that having three days to vote and including late-night times helped boost the amount of participation in this year’s election.

While these changes made voting more accessible, we at the Wheel believe this year’s elections were flawed due to technology problems, poor wording of the amendments referendum and limited information about the candidates.

Last year, when students received ballots corresponding to their credit hour class-standing rather than their graduation year, the Student Government Association (SGA) instituted a new interface to fix the issue. However, the issue persisted for Goizueta Business School students this year, who still received ballots according to the number of credit hours they had taken rather than their year. The Wheel found other students not in the B-school who experienced similar problems.

On top of that, the Elections Board did not anticipate the large voter turnout, which led to ballot error messages and slow loading.

This year’s problems mark a pattern of technological issues with student ballots. The student body should not have to face technological roadblocks that may decrease their incentive to participate in the voting process.

It is time the Elections Board tests these interfaces and ensures that students can easily access the ballot, and the correct one at that.

Furthermore, the wording of the amendments on this year’s ballot was extremely vague and confusing. Students need to know what they are voting for, and it is the ballot writer’s duty to guarantee clear and accurate phrasing.

The terminology of the amendments was outrageously unclear. Phrases like “modernize basic terminology” and “make administrative changes” have no tangible meanings for the layperson. At most, the ballot could have clarified these phrases at the top of the ballot by explaining what these ambiguous phrases mean and how we would see these changes materialize.

Instead of only a few people controlling the wording of the ballot questions, SGA should vote on the wording of these amendments on the ballot before the election process so that the rhetoric of the propositions can be up for debate.

Finally, we recognize that students may not have accessed all of the information about the candidates on the ballot prior to voting.

We suggest the Elections Board place a link in the ballot that leads to one site where students can view each candidate’s statements and platforms. Then, students could have the chance to make an informed decision rather than struggling to pick a name out of a sea of strangers.​ We recognize that SGA sent out a University-wide email, however, we hope that in the future the list will be more inclusive of all of the candidates and also be attached to the ballot. This will give students who have not kept up with the candidates’ platforms a convenient place to find all of the information they need to make an informed decision.

We at the Wheel recognize the value of representative student government. We hope that the Elections Board will implement these changes in the future to improve voting at Emory University.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.

After much consternation and deliberation with various parties and stakeholders, we are extremely excited to announce that The Emory Wheel has decided to merge with The Emory Spoke. It wasn’t an easy decision — the only way we could afford it was by offering our collective remaining Dooley Dollars, three SPC golden tickets, an expired Peavine parking pass and a couple of DUC swipes (Sports Co-Editor Bennett Ostdiek refused to relinquish his Dooley Dollars so you can thank him for the swipes).

“We fielded a few acquisition offers, namely from Yahoo for $2bn, Facebook for $5bn and Build-a-Bear Workshop for $12bn,” Dave Stess, College senior and Editor in Chief of the Spoke, commented in a Facebook exchange with the Wheel.

In order to compete with these multi-national corporations, we also offered the publication a human sacrifice in the form of our dictator Editor in Chief Priyanka Krishnamurthy. We are certain this acquisition will be agreeable and, more importantly, profitable for all investors. Indeed, when Spoke editor and College junior Martin Sigalow heard the news, he is reported to have said “lol.”

As a part of our publicity campaign to promote the new campus publication, The Emory Wheel’s Spoke, we have decided to revamp the newspaper by putting Sudoku puzzles on the front page, implementing an effort called “proactive content creation” (committing crimes ourselves and reporting on them) and also hosting monthly public roasts of University administrators (you’re first, Dean Nair).

Of course, we have to give props where they are most certainly due. We’ve compiled a listicle (see our website for corresponding GIFs) of 11 reasons why we’re merging with the Spoke.

1. The Spoke’s website is REALLY nice. Like, really. And not just in a “cool navigation bar, bro” kind of way. Have you seen that masthead? That RSS feed? The conveniently located box where you can immediately like their Facebook page with little to no effort?

2. Speaking of Facebook, we recognize and applaud the Spoke for having almost 6,000 likes, the majority of which originate from an obscure town in Turkey, where we’re pretty sure that the pit scene in “The Dark Knight Rises” was filmed. As such, one of our primary reasons for merging with the Spoke is to expand our global appeal. We heard there might even be some spambots in Bratislava who are interested in liking the new Facebook page.

3. We feel the Spoke is more accessible and relatable to the average Joe. This is demonstrated by the fact that one of the Spoke’s staff writers is in fact named “Joe” and has been quoted as saying “Hey, I’m just your average Joe.”

4. They are undeniably the most accurate voice in student journalism.

5. They are known for asking the hard-hitting questions, such as “Can the Wheel be used as bonfire tinder?” and “Wait … what?”

6. You can always rely on them for some sophisticated and well-thought out criticism. For example, when the Student Government Association (SGA) discussed controversial legislation about the student activities fee split, the Spoke recapped the meeting with astounding accuracy and such journalistic detail that we had to fire our SGA beat writer in sheer embarrassment.

7. GIFs.

8. They have unmatched breaking news capabilities, including multimedia blasts like iPhone push notifications, and there has even been some rumblings about getting thousands of little birds to personally come and whisper breaking news in every person’s ear every morning so you can say with 100 percent sincerity “a little bird told me.”

9. They hold the Wheel accountable.

10. They actually read the Wheel. Incidentally, they comprise 95 percent of our readership, the remainder of which are made up of “affluent individuals in the 65-85 age bracket,” according to Stess.

11. They know how to take a joke. And hopefully you do too, since this entire staff editorial is an April Fool’s joke. Did you actually think we would ever merge with the Spoke? In their dreams.


The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board. Duh.

Following the announcement of last year’s department changes came the promise of reinvestment in new, interdisciplinary studies in Emory College. In September 2012, five committees were created to lead exploration and growth in the areas of Chinese Studies, New Media Studies, Neuroscience, the Undergraduate Science Experience and Interdisciplinary Science and Teaching.

In an email to the Wheel, College Dean Robin Forman wrote these faculty-led committees are in the process of exploring expansion options in their respective areas. These committees are not necessarily creating new departments at Emory; rather, they are interested in enhancing the interdisciplinary potential of their projects, Forman wrote. The Digital Studies and New Media Across the Art and Sciences Committee, chaired by Sociology professor Timothy Dowd, will release its findings soon, according to Forman. We at the Wheel have a vested interest in the continuation of journalism at Emory, and we hope to see the University make major investments in media studies in the future. We have several recommendations that we feel would make media studies a vibrant element of the Emory College experience.

Currently, courses in media studies are offered as a minor within the umbrella of the Film and Media Studies Department.

We hope to see the department enhance its selection of core course offerings. The Media Studies minor requires seven courses and is highly interdisciplinary: courses are housed within sociology, anthropology and other departments. It certainly makes sense that media studies would be so inclusive — as there is room for an understanding of media in every major academic area — but we would like to see more courses at Emory dedicated specifically to the study of media itself. For instance, Boston University offers an acclaimed media studies graduate program with core courses on digital literacy and the social science of emerging media. Students with a genuine interest in media careers will benefit from a stronger set of core courses in which to learn the ethics and practice of media.

Furthermore, Media Studies should take advantage of the myriad of resources available to students at Emory and in Atlanta. Forman wrote in his email that the committee will explore ways to incorporate the library’s resources into the curriculum, and we see this as a great development. Emory also has the incredible opportunity to interact with some of the world’s biggest television networks: CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TBS and TNT are all headquartered just a few miles away from campus. We would love to see course offerings that allow students to interact with these networks and give students an immersive experience.

We see a few key areas for the expansion of new media studies at Emory. Photography is one vital area of media that should be emphasized, especially in light of Emory no longer having a Visual Arts department. Courses on the history of photography and photography theory are essential, considering the trend toward visual storytelling in media today. More courses focusing on social media and its role in politics and social interaction should also be added. Additionally, we recognize that media is constantly evolving, and journalism in 2014 looks completely different than it did a few years ago. Therefore, we would like to see media studies offerings that embrace the fluidity and adaptability of media platforms and allow students to explore the cutting edge of innovation in the field.

In conclusion, we hope that the College will continue to invest in the growth of media studies. Without a focus on media, the University runs the risk of falling behind other colleges with more extensive resources for students in this area. We want Emory to be able to attract students interested in these fields, rather than push them elsewhere. Though the mediums and methods of media consumption are changing rapidly, we believe that good journalism — the effective and ethical communication of public information — still has a vital place at Emory’s college and in the world at large.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.

Sex Week at Emory, sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion, is a week dedicated to sex-positivity and advocates #morethancondoms. The events were originally scheduled for the week of Feb. 8-14, but some of the events have been rescheduled due to snow days, with two of the events slated for the week after spring break and two the following week as a part of a sex-positivity series. The events that already occurred were Wonderful Wednesday, which focused on sex-positive merchandise as well as a photo project that asked statements such as “A real woman/men is…” “love is louder…” and “good sex is…”​ All student groups were asked to participate at Wonderful Wednesday, with their own projects.

Furthermore, Youtube star Lacey Green spoke at the event “Relationsh!t” which took place on Feb. 8 in the Winship Ballroom. The event focused on giving advice to students on how to build healthy and safe relationships during and after college. Additionally, activist and educator Robyn Ochs led beyond binaries workshop on Feb. 10 in Emory Black Student Union (EBSU) where she explored the dimensions and landscape of sexual orientation.

The Office of Health Promotion and Student Health Advocacy Group (SHAG) partnered with many student organizations, such as Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (SAPA), Feminists in Action (FIA), EmoryPride, Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP), EmoryKink, the DeKalb County Board of Health, Residents Hall Association (RHA), Few and Evans Residence Hall, Office of Multicultural Programs and Services (OMPS), Nursing Students for Reproductive Justice, Emory Reproductive Health Association and the Respect Program. Sex Week aims to break down misconceptions surrounding sex, promote an environment that fosters dialogue surrounding sexuality and explain to students that sex is not just about contraception but rather self-autonomy and being in control of your own body.

We at the Wheel feel that Sex Week is a great step forward toward removing the stigma around sexuality, gender and sex. The messages of Sex Week – education-based awareness and open dialogue around sex – are forward-thinking and important, especially on a college campus. We respect and applaud these groups for sending a message of sex-positivity. This week serves to undermine a taboo – the notion that sex is something we as students shouldn’t talk about – and even though some events have been postponed, the message is still inherent in the events that did occur.

However, some aspects of Sex Week may need tweaking. We understand that the Wonderful Wednesday event of “A Real Woman/Man is…” had good intentions insofar as it attempted to challenge societal definitions of what a man/woman should represent. However, we found a problem with the rhetoric surrounding what a “real” man/woman should be. It centers around essentialist and heteronormative discourse, presupposing that a man/woman can be fake (which we take issue with) and that there are specific characteristics attached to being a real man/woman. Still, we recognize that this is complex territory and we understand that no event is going to satisfy everyone completely.

Regardless of our criticisms, Sex Week’s Wonderful Wednesday was still a success. It promoted safe sex and broke down stigmas with the distribution of condoms and lubricant, genitalia-shaped cookies and cakes and white boards with questions such as “love is louder…” and “good sex is…”

Given recent reports of rape and sexual assault on Emory’s campus, now is a good time to educate the Emory community about assault through these events. Two students came forward this month to report sexual assaults — one reporting a rape in Emory Village, and the other an assault at Sigma Nu’s fraternity house — and the number of reports of sexual assaults on campus at Emory is rising, which could indicate that more students are using Emory’s resources. Sex Week is a good opportunity to continue educating our student body about sexual assault and awareness.

Overall, Sex Week at Emory opens up necessary dialogue surrounding sex. We are glad that so many student groups and campus divisions have taken such amazing initiative to relay a positive message about our bodies and our sexualities. We applaud all of those involved with Sex Week and look forward to the events to come.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel. 

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, you have support at Emory. Please contact Lauren (LB) Bernstein, Assistant Director for the Respect Program at 404.727.1514 or respect@emory.edu for confidential support. You can also learn more about the Respect Program at respect.emory.edu.

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