The school's Union Activities Board purchased the sex toys as prizes for a “Dirty Bingo” event scheduled for Feb. 12. Members of the group Young Americans for Liberty, which was originally formed to support former Rep. Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, expressed their anger at the use of student funds for the event.
“The fact that a public university is going to spend mandatory student fees on such an event is just repulsive,” Young Americans for Liberty North Carolina co-chair Emma Benson told Campus Reform. “There is nothing that involves reading 50 Shades of Grey or using a butt plug that promotes safe sex.”
In a letter posted to the Dirty Bingo Facebook event page, UAB President Lauryn A. Collier explained that $304.69 has been spent on “a few edible undergarments, Fifty Shades of Grey book and game, six vibrators, four surprise packs, three dildos, a toy cleaner, lube, a sex game, a sex position book, an anal plug and a booty booster.” From her statement:
I, along with the executive board, encourage responsible spending among everyone on the board. Each committee is given $1,500/semester to use for independent programming and anything beyond that must be voted on and approved by the entire board. Most of the committees use their money for co-sponsorship of other student organizations or University departments, or smaller programs such as bingo or a game watch. Dirty Bingo is one of the committee-sponsored events during the UAB Valentine’s Week. The total cost of the program per student is close to $0.01/student.
From the concerned students I have spoken to, the issue is not the topic of the event; more so the specific ‘inappropriate’ prizes that were purchased and visualized online. I have stated that if any of the items are truly offensive and unacceptable, we will not give them away. I believe there may have been a misconception of the item inventory online, as some of the more controversial items were easily seen. I hope that this statement will provide clarification to the intent and nature of the event and UAB programming in general.
From here I will be working with the programmers and concerned students to pull any items we deem unsuitable for this student event.
Young Americans for Liberty started a rival Facebook event encouraging students to show up to the event on Tuesday to protest.