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Students destroy Bid for the Bachelor banner

Three female students allegedly defaced a banner they deemed offensive to women, created by the Hillel Jewish Student Center to promote their upcoming Bid for the Bachelor event.
According to Hillel Senior Vice President, Melissa Dolinsky, a meeting which was taking place last Tuesday at the organization’s central office was interrupted around 6:30 p.m. when three female students “barged right in and demanded to know who was in charge of the organization,” said Dolinsky.
When Hillel President, Reagan Wagh, went outside to speak with the outraged students in private, they presented to her pictures that they had torn from the banner, which had featured two laminated pictures-the first of a bare-chested man sitting with a woman in a halter-top and the second of a woman wearing a bikini.
The three unidentified students informed Wagh that they were all taking a Women’s Studies class together at UM, and that they thought that the pictures on the banner were “demeaning to women” and “took it upon themselves to rip down the [pictures on the] banner,” Wagh said.
The Hillel committee had already modified the banner before it received approval from UM to hang on a corner of the Campus Green, near the Memorial Building, Wagh said.
Certain body parts of the women on the banner could be seen easily through her clothing in the original laminated poster, so they had to be colored over to make the graphic more presentable, said Jamie Kaminetsky, Hillel Program Director.
“We just wanted the pictures for eye candy,” Dolinsky said. “We weren’t trying to offend anyone. We just wanted to get people to notice [the banner] so that they would come to our event.”
The pictures that had been torn off were balled up by the upset students, making them unusable if replaced on the banner, Wagh said.
“People spent a lot of time, energy, and money on this banner,” she said. “It’s not right that these girls would just tear something down just because they don’t like it. If they had a problem with it, they could have come and talked about it with us, not just tear it down.”
After the three girls were reported to the school, the banner was officially removed and is currently in the possession of the Dean of Students, said Hillel council members.
The students and their motives are under investigation by the university, although no officials would comment on the issue.

February 12, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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