Fake masturbation poster sweeps college campuses
Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 03:02
Posters asking male students to stop masturbating in residence hall showers have sparked the interest of students campus wide.
Director of Residence Life Jo Campbell said though the posters had UT's seal on them, they were merely a hoax and were not endorsed by the university.
The signs, which appeared in Academic House as early as late November and as recent as last week, asked male residents to "masturbate in [their] own room" since the pipe systems are damaged by excess semen every year.
When asked if "semen-related costs run into the thousands," Campbell denied the claim.
This sign has been posted at other universities including Bowling Green State University and the University of Michigan for several years, according to Campbell.
Kevin Blanch, A-House hall director, has also seen these posters on Facebook in different forms for about five years.
"Students take it upon themselves to change the letterhead to their corresponding school and I've seen it … at least 10 different times with different school information on it," Blanch said.
Blanch and Campbell said the prank is difficult to trace and they have been unable to find the culprit.
"People who place those things in residence halls are prosecuted frequently, so it's not something we condone," Blanch said. "But again, it's hard to police because anybody with a computer can make those changes."
To students who are considering repeating this practical joke, Campbell warns they could face repercussions from the university.
"You can't use UT's logo for something that's not authorized by the university, so it would be a conduct charge through our office of Student Conduct," Campbell said. "It would be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct."
Natasha Fisher, a freshman majoring in environmental science who lives at A-House, said she didn't like the posters because they could make male students feel self-conscious.
"A good punishment for [whoever put up the posters] would be for them to have to clean the showers," she said.
Corey Povenmire, a freshman majoring in chemical engineering who also lives at A-House, initially believed the posters were real but now sees them as a "good joke."
"I figured the janitors or the maintenance people were having trouble, so they decided to put the posters up," he said. "I laughed, sent some pictures back home to my friends, and they laughed too."
Povenmire believes whoever is responsible should be left alone and face minimal consequences because it wasn't too serious of a crime.
While students have shared many a joke over the anti-masturbation posters, staff members such as Blanch are not laughing.
"I think anytime you've got a student who believes that something comes from the university, it could be a problem, and we're taking every step we can to remedy that," Blanch said. "My [Resident Advisers] have let me know about it and I've let them know if they see the poster in physical form to take it down and to try and ascertain who's responsible."