Public college assigns comic book on lesbian sex, child molestation as mandatory freshman reading

Timothy Dionisopoulos
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Faculty and administrators at the College of Charleston (CofC) have assigned all freshman students a graphic sex memoir as part of their mandatory 2013 summer reading.

The College of Charleston has come under fire after assigning a graphic memoir as part of their mandatory summer reading for all incoming freshman.

The controversial book entitled, “Fun Home,” includes an account of author Alison Bechdel’s closeted gay father’s trial over his sexual relationships with young boys, her coming out as a lesbian, and commentary on masturbation and her first sexual relationship with a woman.

The book, which was apparently selected by a committee of faculty, administrators, and students, cost the school $39k for distribution to 4k freshmen, according to a local newspaper, the Post and Courier. The school also plans to pay the book’s author $13k to make a speech in October.

The decision to assign the book to the freshmen class, which typically includes students who are between the ages of 17 and 19, is drawing ire from a South Carolina conservative organization, The Palmetto Family, which says it borders on pornography.

“I found it very close to pornography,” said Oran Smith, who is the organization's leader. It was “way over the top.”

School officials, meanwhile, are standing by their decision to assign the controversial book.

“Who am I and how do I fit in?” asked Associate Provost Lynne Ford. “The book will help students to learn that they are not unique. Our experience is shared by millions.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion


Timothy Dionisopoulos

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Reporter

Tim Dionisopoulos is a reporter for LI's Campus Reform and works as a communications editor in LI’s Campus Leadership Program.

Tim has been with LI's Campus Reform since the summer of 2011, and his stories have been cited or re-posted on the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and other national media outlets.

Tim graduated in 2011 from Providence College in Rhode Island where he was politically active on campus and in the community.

 

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