Thursday, December 01, 2005

(Un)Civil Rights

This morning I was listening to Michael Smerconish on the way to work as I always do. I wish I could find a link to the story he was discussing, but thus far I have been unsuccessful. If I find a link, I'll be sure to post it here, but for now you can go to Mike's website which I linked above and check out his "Must Read of the Day." (Warning - Adult Content) I will try to remember the situation he discussed as best I can.

Today he was discussing an event at the University of Pennsylvania where a male student was looking out his dorm window. Across the quad or the street or whatever, he had a view of another dorm building. In one of the windows, he saw a male and female student engaged in sexual acts. From what I gathered from the discussion Mike had on the radio, the couple was clearly performing an act of exhibitionism. Anybody walking by the building would have seen them. The male onlooker took a picture of this couple from his window. Then he posted the picture on his website.

Now the University is punishing the student who took the picture for sexual harrassment. I didn't catch the punishment on the radio, but I suspect it is probably a suspension. My question to the readers is, does the student deserve to be punished for this?

I can understand if the University is punishing the student for using the university computers or servers to post pornographic material on the internet, but let's leave that out of discussion since the university says the student is being punished for sexual harrassment. Let's say the couple was looking for a thrill and willfully did what they did in front of the window with the intent of wanting to be seen. Now they are upset that their momentary act is frozen in time on the internet. Should this student be punished for giving them what they wanted? Were their civil rights violated by this kid? Let's start the discussion there and then I will add some twists to it.

Update: Here is a link to the Story.

Update #2: The university has met with the student that took the photograph and has decided to drop all charges against him.


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