Beyond the Hill

Fifty shades of controversy: North Carolina State University students receive criticism for dirty bingo night

Micah Benson | Art Director

A graphic book on various sex positions, edible undergarments and a new copy of the risqué bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey” were just a few of the prizes available at North Carolina State’s Dirty Bingo Night, held on Valentine’s Day.

Dirty Bingo Night was one of a series of Valentine’s Day-themed events sponsored and hosted by the North Carolina State University Union Activities Board on the Raleigh campus. A pink sunglasses giveaway, school-sponsored movie and dinner night with a showing of “Skyfall,” and a Red and White Charity Ball were among the other events planned for the week, according to the NCSU Union Activities Board website.

The event was a first for the campus, and was going to be used as an alternative, fun, safe sex education event. The Dirty Bingo Night was planned as a way to “receive some sex education, and have the chance to win free prizes like you have never won them before,” according to the board’s website.

Board President Lauryn Collier told The Huffington Post in a Feb. 11 article that the event was planned to give away prizes such as edible undergarments, six different vibrators, four “surprise packs,” three dildos, a sex-toy cleaner, lubricants, a sex game, a book on different sexual positions and an anal plug. Because of the event’s inspiration, attendees also had a chance to win a “Fifty Shades of Grey book and game.

In the article, Collier said the board wanted to “find an innovative and entertaining way to talk about sex and sex education, particularly on a college campus, which deviates the norm and expected.”

The racy event quickly drew harsh criticism from conservative students concerned with the content of the event, and from other students concerned how money from their student fees was being spent.

On the Dirty Bingo Facebook page, various students argued against it, not because of the nature of the prizes, but because student fee money was going toward an event they didn’t deem appropriate.

The cost of the items purchased for the event came to a total of $304.69. NCSU students opposed to the event took to the Facebook page to organize small protests by sending out invites for support, according to the article.

A group of students planned to show up Tuesday and voice its “firm disapproval” of the event, according to the article.

Emma Benson, an NCSU student and state co-chair of the Young Americans for Liberty, took to conservative website CampusReform.org to express her aversion to the event.

She wrote on the conservative blog, “The fact that a public university is going to spend mandatory student fees on such an event is just repulsive. There is nothing that involves reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ or using a butt plug that promotes safe sex.”

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