I believe that all the issues raised by Remi Watts in “No Place to Study... One Another” [Oct. 27, 2011] are part of student life and should be treated as natural obstacles meant to be surmounted even if just for character-building. While I would not discount any of the positive aspects of healthy sexual expression cited in the article, I would however point out the potential disservice such sexual space would do to students who still have a lot of maturation to do — be it sexual or otherwise.
It is an unfortunate fact that in our relatively repressive society, sex as a subject and as an act are still both workplace taboos. Anyone who has had experience as a working stiff knows that the amount of sexual expression in the working world makes the U of C seem like orgy night at a Prague nightclub. Professional sexual encounters have always been exercised clandestinely by way of secret affairs, lunchtime quickies and coffee break mutual wanks. At the very least, discussion of sexuality is done in hushed tones and in confidence. If the university is to be a true training ground for both professional and personal growth, then instilling unrealistic sexual expectations by providing a welcome location instead of allowing students to explore and learn how to discreetly secure such a place would be akin to a denial of an important practical learning opportunity.
If the discussion were on the rigidity of Canadian (or more specifically, Albertan and Calgarian) sexual mores, then I am inclined to agree; this region has a long way to go in terms of openness. Indeed, the university, as a place of social revolution, should be at the forefront of such a shift in thinking. But instead of having to rely on another top-down initiated effort — just another stab at socially engineering and moulding students — I would instead be more inclined to support a more grassroots effort, a people-driven revolution to explore and grow on our own terms. Sexual maturity, indeed maturity in any aspect, is not simply a matter of proficiency in the act but rather how it is handled and balanced with everything else in life.