Harvard College Munch, the recently approved kinky sex discussion group, has been making headlines across the nation after its approval last week by the Harvard administration.
In response to the media firestorm surrounding Munch’s recognition, students have expressed their opinions about the group’s message and official status. For many, the significant outrage over the group’s existence seems unwarranted.
“Honestly, I didn’t think this was a big deal,” said Sally M. Castillo ’14. “It’s a student group that wanted recognition as a student group and got it. I don’t think it merits any more hoopla than even just an initiative to try to make a new social space on campus.”
In fact, many students voiced their support of the new organization’s goals.
One such advocate, who was granted anonymity by The Crimson to protect his privacy, lauded Munch’s ability to force the Harvard community and the nation at large to think about important issues traditionally undiscussed.
“This is an interesting opportunity to talk about what sexual perversion actually means,” he said. “Too often, people think perversion is defined by sexual acts themselves. I think it’s when consent is not present. This club is helping bring more of a focus on consent versus lack of consent in sexual acts. It is challenging our beliefs and forcing us to think about what actually makes an act perverse.”
Mariah T. Browne ’15 applauded Harvard for pushing boundaries in its acceptance of organizations. “At first I was a little surprised about Munch because I’ve never heard of any club like this at any college,” she said. “But then I thought it was really cool that Harvard is offering something like this. I think being an elite institution but still having this sort of group is so beneficial, rather than us always being rooted in old principles. I think it’s really, really great.”
This departure from conventional values, however, was precisely the source of concern for some students.
“At the end of the day, Harvard is a private institution...I understand the university feels it would be wrong to deny this group funding, but a serious line has been crossed,” said Devi Nair ’16, Vice President of the Harvard Republicans Club. “Allowing for such a group tacitly ignores the fact that...modern society still promotes certain boundaries. Allowing for a kinky sex group will only foster similar, if not more extreme clubs within our community.”
The Harvard Republicans declined to officially comment on the subject, according to President Rajiv Tarigopula ’14.