Tuesday, September 28, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: POLE POSITION
Stripper pole brings trouble for students
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Three students at Jacksonville University have been punished for installing a stripper pole in an on-campus apartment and taking pictures as clothed female students performed on it at a party.
About a dozen women competed for a $100 Victoria's Secret gift certificate Sept. 11, said James Foster, a 20-year-old who hosted the party. None of the women disrobed.
The men bought the steel pole from Home Depot, bolted it to the concrete ceiling and attached the bottom to a plywood stage covered in red felt.
"Honestly, we just wanted to say we had a stripper pole," Foster said. "We never actually expected girls to dance on it." When university officials ordered the men to remove the pole, they complied, but not before building a huge party around it.
Signs reading "Pole Dancers Wanted" were posted around campus and the men bought large quantities of beer. Friends were enlisted friends to check identifications and manage security. They charged $5 for men, and women were let in free. The party ended shortly after the beer ran out.
John Daigle Jr., a school spokesman, said the party's hosts may have violated the university's alcohol policy and broken rules against indecent behavior and the making of unapproved changes to university property.
Daigle, citing school privacy rules, would not identify the students or the punishment they received, but said: "The university took this seriously and the punishment was appropriate."
Punishments at the university can range from a reprimand to dismissal.
Foster said he was put on residential probation through Nov. 9 and had to write a letter of apology. The penalties imposed on the other students were not released.
None of the women faced any disciplinary action, Daigle said. "There was no public nudity involved here," he said.
Residential adviser Amber Davis said the party degraded women.
"There are other ways they can go out and get a girlfriend if that's what they want," she said.
The men have taken down the pole and converted the stage to a pingpong table.
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