Professor ‘Disturbed’ By Impact photo

February 2011

To the Editor:

Call me old-fashioned, but, while interested in the article “Sex on a College Campus,” I found the photo of two young people – presumably Mercy students and presumably unmarried – in bed together in the January issue of The Impact distasteful.

What’s the message and what are we to assume – that the couple has just had sexual intercourse or are about to engage in it? Why on earth anyone – other than porn stars – would permit themselves to be photographed during such an intimate moment mystifies me and that The Impact would publish such a photo is – to say the least – disturbing. What’s next – photos of couples engaged in actual sexual intercourse?

Truly I feel sorry for young people who haven’t yet discovered that sexuality is a sacred gift not to be squandered either indiscriminately or frivolously. Instead it should be cherished privately as an act of communion between two people who care deeply for one another. The Sisters of Mercy, who founded the college, must be rolling in their graves and frankly, I don’t blame them.

Marjorie G. Jones, J.D.

Adjunct Professor of History

Prof. Jones,

While we respect and understand your position on the matter, apparently we are far apart on the topic. As a newspaper for the community, not a newsletter for Mercy College, we feel it would be irresponsible of us to not address issues that students encounter in their daily lives.

The fully clothed students who posed for the photo are a representation of the sexual relationships that students may encounter while attending college. While some feel the topic is taboo, we as a staff feel that intercourse is a natural act that should not be ignored.

In fact, a study by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention in 2008 stated that 79.5 percent of college students 18 to 24-years-old have had sexual intercourse and that 55.4 percent have had sexual intercourse during the 30 days preceding the survey. Sexual relationships for underclassmen, notably woman, can be very difficult. We feel it is our mission to education them about the potential dangers of their decisions.

While your concerns about the students not being married and sex serving as a private communion are the foundation of your religious and ethical beliefs, be aware not everyone shares the same beliefs. Some of the finest Mercy students are unwed, single parents.

We stand by our story, and actually view it as a celebration. The fact that women can openly discuss sex as men do is in itself a triumph. As for the Sisters of Mercy, our belief is that they would be very proud that the Impact is educating its students in topics such as STDs and birth control.

– The Impact Staff