Naked. It’s how we were born; some would argue that’s how the higher power of this world intended us to be. Although Baylor University has not condemned the act of being naked, it has condemned the act of being naked in a publication. Baylor has threatened any female students who plan to pose for the Big 12 issue of Playboy with consequences that include anything from a warning to expulsion, according to an Associated Press article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In the past, Baylor has suspended a student for posing nude, even though the picture never ran in print and even male students for posing in the magazine fully clothed.
Some students believe that it should be the choice of the female to appear in the magazine – and they’re right. The women are in college and can make decisions pertaining to their bodies, including who they want show them to, but they should also want to pose badly enough to risk getting kicked out of school.
They should be prepared to face the consequences because of the type of university they attend. Baylor is, by no means, overstepping its boundaries. The university is private – and of religious affiliation. It justified any actions it may take against those who appear in the magazine with an e-mail to all students stating, “associating with the magazine that is clearly antithetical to Baylor’s mission would be considered a violation of the code of conduct.”
As one student put it, when students enroll at Baylor, they’re agreeing to the rules in the handbook. Why would Baylor – the world’s largest Baptist university, according to its Web site – want to affiliate itself with pornography?
The school has every right to deter its students from posing in Playboy and wouldn’t be carrying out its mission by allowing those attending to appear nude without the consequences.
Associate editor Adrienne Lang for the editorial board.