Campfield drops fight over UT Sex Week, student fees
NASHVILLE (News Sentinel) -
Sen. Stacey Campfield said Monday he is dropping efforts to put new restrictions on University of Tennessee student fees — through bills inspired by controversy over UT Sex Week — because of steps school officials have pledged to take voluntarily.
Campfield cited a letter, dated Friday, from UT President Joe DiPietro to House Speaker Beth Harwell, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and two other legislators. Based on the letter and conversations with UT officials, the senator said he understands that the university has agreed to make payment of student fees that go to pay for some events optional rather than mandatory.
DiPietro's letter says UT administrators and trustees "will begin immediately" to address concerns in SJR626, a resolution condemning UT Sex Week approved earlier by the Senate.
"I believe the result of our efforts will be a more transparent student activity fee system that respects the First Amendment right of student organizations to engage in a free and open exchange of ideas but also provides individual students the right not to fund student organization expression that is offensive to their personal beliefs," says the letter.