University of Maryland students to screen porn film off campus

April 4th, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 4 (ANI): Students at the University of Maryland at College Park, who were upset after the General Assembly forced school officials to cancel the screening of pornographic film “Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge”, have decided to screen the movie off campus.

The students, who want to exercise their right to free speech, are also planning on hosting speakers from the faculty as well as groups like the American Civil Liberties Union to discuss free speech.

The screening had previously been organized by the university’s student union on March 28 as part of a nationwide discussion on pornography, but later had to be scrapped after lawmakers threatened to cut the school off from 424 million dollars in state funding if they showed the movie.

“There is a lot of anger in the way the situation has played out,” the Washington Times quoted Kenton Stalder, a junior English major and a member of the student government, as saying.

“A question we want to point out is: Does education have to start and stop at the classroom door?” he said.

Stalder said that he and other members of his campus political party, the Student Power Party, were organizing the unofficial screening.

Other student leaders described the controversy as “an embarrassment” for the legislature.

“It’s absolutely immature politics. It makes the General Assembly look like an embarrassment. How can an institution of 45,000 people be threatened by a porn film?” student government Vice-President Joanna Calabrese, a junior environmental policy major, said.

Christopher Ruth, a spokesman for the film’s distributor, Digital Playground, said that the company was “shocked” when it learnt that College Park had cancelled the screening.

“The government has no place to tell adults what they’re supposed to do. They [the legislators] had essentially committed extortion so the university would do what they want,” Ruth added. (ANI)

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