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UT Sex Week Controversy

Posted by James Zhang

Sex week, which is as a comprehensive, entertaining, and week-long, sex education event that aims to foster an inclusive and intellectual discussion on sex, sexuality, and relationships to educate the University of Tennessee Knoxville student body and the Knoxville community, has been under fire for allegedly receiving “the highest allocation of student activity fee funds” in past three academic years. State lawmakers have started to think about how state funds were being used at UT. With ongoing controversies, people begin to talk about Sex Week on social media.
Over the past week, 635 social media posts have discussed controversial UT sex week. The conversation reaches its peak on February 21, when Interim University President Randy Boyd announced to show attitudes toward UT sex week on behalf of the school. The social media conversation volume was around 300 on that day.
In terms of trending words on social media, state’s report, students’ right, and funding issues have been discussed the most on social media platforms.


As far as top influencers on social media are concerned, three leading local news agencies, Knoxnews, WTVC News Channel 9, and WVLT news have been driving the social media conversation regarding UT’s sex week. For instance, Knoxnews kept updating news stories of UT’s Sex Week on its official Twitter account. WVLT tweeted its published story about National Free Speech Watchdog’s reaction to UT’s action after state Sex Week report. Both of those reports achieved high influencing scores.

The overall sentiment on social media regarding the topic of UT’s Sex Week is negative. Specifically, the negativity has reached more than sixty percent. Social media users were very much concerned about the state lawmakers’ decision on UT’s Sex Week would infringe upon UT’s students’ free speech rights.

Without UT’s Sex Week controversy being settled, UT’s students, news agencies, and Knoxville community will continue to keep their eyes on the issue, since it highly regards to the free speech rights of college students.