Lawmaker upset by campus Sex Faire threatens to withhold funding from Penn State

PENNSYLVANIA — A state legislator is proposing to withholdpublic funding from Pennsylvania State University if it does notimplement a policy prohibiting events like the recent Sex Faireand Cuntfest held on campus.

Rep. John Lawless, R-Montgomery County, believes the Sex Faire,which he said was funded with money from student fees, was a wasteof public money. Consequently, he urged other legislators on Feb.28 to join him in denying Penn State’s request for increased statefunds for next year.

"If you’re wasting money [on events like this], we [shouldnot] give them an increase in funding," Lawless said.

The Sex Faire was funded by Womyn’s Concerns, a campus studentgroup; its purpose was to provide information about sexual health,date rape, sexual liberation and consent to students on campus.

During a state house appropriations committee hearing on PennState’s proposed budget for 2001-02, Penn State President GrahamSpanier was questioned for nearly four hours about the fair. Spaniertold the committee the university was committed to freedom ofspeech and would not denounce the Sex Faire.

Lawless said the Sex Faire cost $10,000, most of which camefrom student fees. Penn State’s director of public informationBill Mohan disputes this figure, saying the event cost roughly$50. It was held in a residence hall, which is funded purely throughstudent room and board fees, without state assistance. Mohan saidLawless did request police escorts during a visit to the fair.

"He called asking to make sure there were some campuspolice there," Mohan said of Lawless. "Some of theirsalaries may come from the state."

Unless the university implements a policy to prohibit eventslike the Sex Faire, Lawless said he and other legislators willvote against passing Penn State’s budget request bill, which wouldrequire two-thirds of the legislature’s support to pass. Lawlessbelieves he has the support to defeat the bill.

Mohan said university officials do not believe the threat ofrevoked funding is viable.

"I don’t think the state’s going to hold accountable 81,000students for something a couple of dozen participated in,"he said.

Lawless said he does not believe a policy to ban events likethe Sex Faire would infringe upon students’ First Amendment rights.

A copy of David Horowitz’s anti-reparations ad is available online at:


  • “The (No) Free Speech Movement,” an article by Julie Bosman, the editorof the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Badger Herald, explainingwhy the Herald published the anti-reparations ad is available onlineat:

  • A photo of Brown University students stealing copies of The Brown DailyHerald is available online at: