News Briefs

SpectrUM hosts Coming Out Week 2004
Coming Out Week 2004 started off with a bang on the UC Patio on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day. At the opening ceremonies, the Pride Award was presented to Julia Conway, Karen Turner (resident masters in Stanford residential) and their son, Luke, as well as a musical performance by UM alumna Jenn Hull. On Tuesday night, guest speaker Marky G. from Party 93.1’s “Issues over the Rainbow” talk show was at the Rat.
Gay 101, a session addressing questions regarding coming out, gave students the opportunity to express their concerns Wednesday evening in UC 233. On Thursday, SpectrUM held an open house in its office throughout the day, encouraging gay or gay-friendly faculty and staff to meet and network To close the week, SpectrUM will host an anti-hate crime candlelight vigil at the Rock at 8 p.m. tonight to pay respects to those lost to hate crimes.

Sexuality classes attract academically curious at U. Penn

(U-WIRE) PHILADELPHIA – For students looking to choose their spring classes, there is a veritable playground of subject material-from sciences to mathematics to literature. But for University of Pennsylvania alumna Vanessa Bayer, there was one subject she had yet to study at Penn-sex. So last spring, Bayer enrolled in “Contemporary Issues in Human Sexuality.”
According to the course’s instructors, being able to understand different sexual attitudes and messages is serious business, and in today’s sex-saturated world, the need for such education is rapidly growing.
“We’re living in a culture where you’re completely bombarded with sexual information, but that doesn’t mean you recognize where it’s coming from and can process it in some way,” nursing professor Kathy Brown said. Brown teaches the class with Susan Villari, director of the Office of Health Education [OHE] and Stephen McCann, OHE’s office and wellness coordinator.
The popular course was revamped and expanded from its nursing roots with the help of OHE three years ago and features unorthodox guest speakers, such as a sex therapist, a woman employed as an escort and a member of the local fetish community.
The class also incorporates a number of current pop culture icons, like “Sex and the City” and “The Simpsons.”
Before the course was updated, it existed primarily to teach nursing graduate students how to handle sexual issues with patients. But branching out to cultural issues of sexuality seemed timely and logical. And according to McCann, the team effort of teaching is one of the class’ biggest benefits.
“We come from very different backgrounds, so between (all) of us, we have everything covered,” McCann says. “We can challenge the students’ views and show them that there’s not one right answer.”
By discussing difficult issues in class, the instructors hope to generate students’ opinions on topics they might not otherwise have considered–including medical testing on fetuses.
“It forces students to deal with issues they might not have developed an opinion on yet,” Villari says.

The University of Miami and Napster have joined together to bring free music to the undergraduate student body. Individual accounts can be activated by going to and following the simple instructions. Napster has over 700,000 songs waiting to be downloaded, so make sure to sign up.