Student government bans nudity on campus TV after station airs sex show





CALIFORNIA -- The student government at the University of California at San Diego amended the campus television station's charter yesterday banning programs from airing nudity and sex.

The move comes after the closed-circuit student-run television station aired a show last week in which a student had sex with an adult actress. Pictures and a link to a video highlighting the sex episode are available on the show's Web site as well.

Steve York, who had sex with an actress on his show, Koala TV, said he was upset by the student government's action.

"They don't like our expression," York said. "This is definitely a censorship issue."

Christopher Sweeten, the student government president, introduced a motion amending the charter to prohibit on-air depictions of sexual activity, according to an agenda posted on the organization's Web site.

Sweeten did not return an e-mail or a phone call seeking comment.

Council members passed the measure by a 14-8 vote after lengthy debate, according to an article in The San Diego Union-Tribune. The local paper reported that the debate focused on whether student leaders were following the will of the students or "perceived pressure by the administration."

A message left with Patricia Jacoby, director of university outreach, was not returned.

Koala TV had encountered trouble in the past. Station managers removed the show from the schedule in March after York stripped off his clothes during a live broadcast, according to The Union-Tribune. That was after the student government asked the station to stop showing nudity.

The student government recently reinstated the show, York said.

He said the show was about making students laugh.

"The show raised issues in a fun way," he said, adding that the show had fostered discussions about the First Amendment and sexual health on campus.

Television shows are not submitted to station officials for approval prior to broadcast, he said. Programs shown between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. were permitted to show adult material if viewers were properly warned, as they were in this case, York said.

The station's charter outlaws obscene broadcasts, but indecent broadcasts are permitted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to The Union-Tribune article.

The Union-Tribune

reported that to be considered obscene under the station's charter, the material has to fulfill a three-part test: It must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct. It must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. And the "average person," applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material appeals to prurient interests.

More than a dozen students and parents have called student leaders and administrators to complain about the show, according to The Union-Tribune.

--by Kyle McCarthy, SPLC staff writer


news