A 60-member Stanford University kink club got rejected from school administration, though it will continue to live on, it hasn’t received official approval. Stanford’s Student Organization Review Committee is claiming they didn’t dismiss the club, but that the Kardinal Kink’s proposal didn’t meet the criteria to become a new student organization.
Stanford U isn’t kink shy, they’ve had lectures about the subject and the group isn’t just an excuse to use university funding to have crazy sex parties. Helena, a Stanford sophomore and founder of Kardinal Kink, said, “These are discussion groups, they’re support groups. There are lots of support groups on campus and this is just another one. We have well-known educators who have put their lives toward trying to educate people about sexuality and communication, come to campus … and teach us these skills that 20-year-olds may not be able to teach to each other,” she explains.
However according to Nanci Howe, associate dean of students, the group hasn’t been rejected but rather, “the students are still in the process of applying to be a student group. It’s common for groups to be asked for more detail about their proposal. The majority of groups that provide additional information become recognized student groups.”
So why all the fuss? The students feel as though the administration is purposefully making them jump through hoops and splitting hairs about their initial proposal. They were advised to find a faculty member to supervise, which other groups don’t have to do, told their mission wasn’t clear, though it is clearly stated and to change the name of the group from Kardinal Kink to something essentially more conservative.
The committee requested “better clarity about the scope of your group, especially in regards to clarity about your group’s hoped for activities.” Lily Z said the first sentence of the proposal read, “Kardinal Kink is both a support group and an advocacy group: a supportive anonymous space for Stanford students to explore kink themes safely and a public effort to campaign for resources, research, and respect for kink by promoting a positive and accurate understanding of kink sexuality on campus.” Does it get any clearer than that? The group is also concerned they won’t be able to find a faculty member willing to associate with a “kink” group.
The students simply want a safe space to discuss these issues, spaces that have been granted by other universities like Harvard, Columbia, Yale and Princeton.
Jon, a member said, ”I don’t think that the educational source for kink should be ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ I think it should be well-informed professionals and like-minded people that come together to educate.” Education and discussion about sex is key to understanding ourselves, our experiences and keeping each other safe.
Hopefully, Stanford will sort this one out.