Sisterhood Blog

Under Pressure, YU Site Pulls Sex Column

By Gabrielle Birkner

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UPDATE: December 8, 12 p.m.: Following a meeting with school administrators, YU Beacon has restored the column to its site. A Beacon editor is telling New Voices that the publication will no longer be subsidized by the university.

Sure, sex columns are staples in college newspapers — spaces where student scribes describe, often in lascivious detail, the bedroom (or dorm room) propensities of their peers.

A recent column published in Yeshiva University’s co-ed newspaper, YU Beacon, was relatively tame by comparison: The anonymous piece matter-of-factly describes a sexual encounter between two students, after which the writer comes to the conclusion that she “made a stupid mistake.”

But as of Wednesday afternoon, the Beacon’s editors-in chief, Simi Lampert and Toviah Moldwin, had pulled the piece at the request of university administrators, with whom they are planning to meet. Apparently some on campus, and in the wider Orthodox community, found the piece too racy for a publication that receives money from Modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution.

A spokesman for the university could not immediately be reached for comment.

On the page where the essay once lived is a letter from Lampert and Moldwin that implies that the future of the Beacon, not just the article, is in jeopardy. “We want any decisions regarding the Beacon’s fate to be based purely on fact, and not on bad feelings,” they wrote. (Lampert reiterated that point in an interview with New Voices, the publication of the Jewish Student Press Service.)

The Beacon left in place the lively, polarizing debate that ensued in the comments section.

But you don’t have to wait for a resolution to read the column in question. Lampert gave New Voices, permission to reprint the piece, “How Do I Even Begin To Explain This?” here.


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