Volume 95, Issue 81

Thursday, March 7, 2002
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USC and admin in soph bed battle

Ed. students denied class placements

In lieu of cock fighting, nerds turn to robot wars

Budget 2002/2003 -
USC targets $900k debt

USC Budget 2002/2003

Western left in the dark

Syphilis - Napoleon had it, now you can too

Cal-Berkeley sex classes included orgies

Globe's Gray talks journalism

Cal-Berkeley sex classes included orgies

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

A student-run male sexuality course at the University of California-Berkeley is under heavy scrutiny amid allegations of class orgies and a witness who saw a co-ordinator having sex on-stage at a strip club.

The controversy began when the school's student newspaper, The Daily Californian, published an account detailing the content of the class.

The university has now set up a task force to examine both of the school's sexuality classes, as well as all other student-run courses.

Christy Kovacs, a freshman who took the male sexuality class in the fall semester, told The Daily Californian that parties were held to better acquaint the students.

"There was an orgy at one of the parties," she said. "And after we went to a strip club, at the party, people took pictures of their genitalia."

Later, Kovacs said students would then have the opportunity to match the genitalia with the face.

"The purpose of the party was for everyone to get to know each other in an outside environment," she said.

Some of the instructors told the newspaper no one was pressured into taking the pictures and attendance at parties was not mandatory.

The Daily Californian news editor Steve Sexton said the courses, which have been around for several years, have always caused controversy, but never to this extent.

"It pops up every once in awhile, but never anything like this," Sexton said, adding he has been contacted by CNN, Fox News and Britain's BBC.

The sexuality classes are part of Berkeley's DeCal program, which offers courses created and taught by students. While they are not funded by the school, students do receive credits.

When news of the allegations first spread, officials suspended the male sexuality class. It has since been reinstated.

"A preliminary inquiry has found that, with the exception of one activity, the allegations contained in the student newspaper were not directly associated with the course but were independent social activities that were undertaken by students from this class, along with other individuals," said Berkeley spokeswoman Janet Gilmore.

"If true, with these actions, the student co-ordinators have shown a total disrespect for, and brought shame upon, the students, the DeCal program, and the entire university," read an announcement on DeCal's website.

The class' faculty supervisor, Caren Kaplan, could not be reached for comment.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002