USC Upstate cancels controversial play after legislator complain - DatelineCarolina

USC Upstate cancels controversial play after legislator complaints

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USC Upstate has held its Bodies of Knowledge Symposium for the last six years USC Upstate has held its Bodies of Knowledge Symposium for the last six years
Senator Michael Fair (R-Greenville) says teach tolerance in academic settings, not social functions Senator Michael Fair (R-Greenville) says teach tolerance in academic settings, not social functions
By: Josh Butler

USC Upstate  has been criticized by South Carolina legislators recently when its annual Bodies of Knowledge Symposium had a unique headline act called "How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less."

"The actual title had nothing to do with that, per se," says John Masterson, Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at USC Upstate.

The University says the title "How to Be a Lesbian" was to catch attention but it was purely satirical, it had nothing to do with recruiting lesbians.

Some in the South Carolina Legislature, however, pressured the school to cancel the play... something finally done by the University.  Senator Michael Fair (R- Greenville) says while a University's purpose is to educate its students, USC Upstate was instead promoting social events.

"Discuss the issues, but do it from a pro and con basis... that's what a University is supposed to be about," says Fair.

Masterson says lawmakers dwelling on a "misunderstanding of a title of an entertainment piece" is "absurd."

USC Upstate students also found the cancellation disturbing, regardless of their beliefs about of same-sex relationships.

"I don't think it was right to outright cancel it because that was hard work and planning that other students and faculty put into something," says Shaniece Ginn, an Upstate sophomore.

The South Carolina House of Representatives voted earlier this year to cut $17,000 in funding to the USC Upstate campus because the school required all freshmen to read a book called "Out Loud" that dealt with the gay community in South Carolina.

Students at Upstate recently rallied on campus protesting the legislature's actions.

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