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Cancelled Plans: So long to sex at Hunter

So much for sex at Hunter. The 2019 Sex Fair is canceled just weeks before it was set to happen on campus.

Last March, Vanessa and Nomi Uribe won the USG Democracy Project Fund for a proposal for a sex education fair with informational booths to educate students on the topic of sex. They created a budget and worked with the Hunter administration to host the event, which was scheduled for the first week of May. They were promised $5,000 of student activity money for the project and spent weeks planning the event. They had more than 80 volunteers signed up, had created posters, planned 20 booth ideas and on April 3, received the final approval from the USG for their budget, which would cover all the decorations, raffles, games and the booths.

The organizers were extremely excited about the event, explaining, “There are so many reasons as to why we’re taking action and it’s definitely important to open these conversations on a bigger scale.”

But just weeks before the date, the event was cancelled by the organizers.

The sign plastered all over school for the event.

The women said the school never gave them a location, which meant they could not promote it properly. Their request for the cafeteria or the West lobby were turned down and the women rejected as inadequate the school’s offer of “a couple of tables on either end of the North-West sky bridge and the Hall of Fame – the little area past the turnstiles in the West Lobby.”

“Cramming 20+ booths, games, crafts, piñatas, art stations, and more into the spaces Hunter has offered would be a fire hazard and not accessible for people with disabilities,” said the organizers in their withdrawal statement.

The Students Activity group, an office at Hunter that specializes in hosting events for students on campus, insisted that the name “Sex Fair” be changed because they felt, said the organizers, “people ‘might get the wrong idea’ about Sex Fair.” The organizers, however, felt it wouldn’t catch as much attention using a more conservative name, such as “Sex Education.” The flyers, explained the organizers, were already approved with the name “Sex Fair 2019: Let’s Talk About It” and were plastered all over the walls of the school before they were told it needed to be changed.

The organizers were also not able to access the full funds before the event. They stated that they were only able to access about $500 out of the $5,000 and could not afford to lay out the rest of the money on their own dime.

“We could only ask for an advance of $500 each. We would have to then spend that money and then come back and submit for another advance, which would take at least another week,” said Uribe. “If the event went through today, we would only be able to access $2,000 of the $5,000 budget.”

To read the full withdrawal statement, click here.

The fair was to include booths about sexual health, LGBTQ sex ed, raffles and games. The organizers stated that they had full support from the students in the

Undergraduate Student Government, College Association and Student Activities office.

A Hunter spokesperson said that while student events are encouraged, there are many considerations when it comes to hosting an event, including its impact on other student activities.

“The process to host an event may be more involved than students expect, but the process is in place for many reasons, and we all must respect it. We always offer our assistance to students in planning events, especially events that the College administration supports with funds,” said a Hunter spokesperson. “If a student decides that it would be preferable to cancel a proposed event, we respect that, too.”

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