Article misrepresented sociology assignment

I’m writing in regard to yesterday’s Kernel article “Students required to visit strip clubs, sex shops for class.” I have actually taken Family Studies 253 with Jason Hans and completed the assignment discussed in the article, and I thought the reporter’s treatment of it was somewhat unfair.

Toward the end of the article, the reporter acknowledged that most students find it a valuable learning experience, but I thought the headline and the first few paragraphs of the article, the only part many people read, gave it an unfairly bad rap.

The article listed the pre-approved destinations for the project as including strip clubs, adult stores and gay bars, but it neglected to mention that options like relevant discussion groups were also approved.

In addition, students can get permission to go to events of their choosing that take place on campus if they don’t want to go to the listed places. I’ve seen some of Dr. Hans’ students attend Gay-Straight Alliance meetings for their assignments.

In reality, although many students (myself included) go to strip clubs and the like for the assignment, students are by no means required to do so.

Even beyond that, if some students are really uncomfortable with or morally against the idea of visiting strip clubs but choose to go to them anyway, they can still write good papers about the role of women that they observe, since the assignment is to write about gender as you observe it. The assignment is to make observations similar to the way a sociologist would, not to buy lap dances.

Casey Lyons

English senior