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Born in 1983, Simon Bilo experienced a struggle in the 1990s as the economies of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic were transitioning from a socialist totalitarian system toward a market economy and democracy.

And now, as a professor of economics at Allegheny College, he teaches others about free economies.

Bilo, from Slovakia, left to get his education in Prague, Czech Republic in the early 2000s, and left Prague in 2008 to get his PhD at George Mason University, which he calls a “life-changing opportunity” for which he will always be grateful.

Each time he moved, Bilo said he was to improve his education and “to ultimately become a better economist.”

“The economic and social transformation was for me and my generation a very important experience,” Bilo said.SimonBilo

Eastern Europeans, according to Bilo, were experiencing drastic changes to their environment and didn’t realize that not only were socialist economies very inefficient compared to capitalist ones, these socialist countries experienced much less political freedom as well.

Economics, Bilo says, answers “at least some” of the gaping questions facing Eastern Europeans at that time. And that’s what drew him to the field.

Bilo says economics is an important field for citizens to understand because “it tells us whether certain types of policies are consistent with certain types of policy goals.”

“In other words, if politicians say that we need to impose measure A and that we want to reach goal X at the same time, economics can tell us whether the two are compatible with each other,” he said.

A good example of this, Bilo says, is the debate over increasing the minimum wage. Those who want to increase the minimum wage also desire low unemployment rates. “Unfortunately, economics tells us that effective minimum wage laws lead to higher unemployment rates.”

In this case, the measure and the goal are not consistent with each other, Bilo says.

“Politicians and voters who are ignorant of the relationship between the minimum wage and unemployment can then do a great deal of harm from the perspective of their own policy goals,” he said.

But why did communism fail in Eastern Europe?

“To put it simply,” Bilo said, “these socialist countries had a very inefficient set of social institutions which impoverished their citizens.”

Bilo related the struggle of private ownership in the factors of production.

“Without the ability to keep the benefits of their efforts, people do not have the incentives to be entrepreneurial and to work hard,” he said.

The lack of appropriate incentives and the lack of information, Bilo says, “jointly lead to high economic inefficiencies in the socialist countries,” and eventually led to the downfall of socialism in Eastern Europe.

Although he does not consider himself to be teaching free-market economics to his students, he said he teaches his students economics without adjectives, which he believes is a “scientific discipline that is trying to explain certain issues in the social world around us.”

He discusses with his students how markets work and the reasons why some countries are rich and some are poor.

“My political opinions do not have much to do with the conclusions that economics draws about these issues,” he said.

He calls it a “matter of fact” that government intervention stifles economic freedom, and that countries with more economic freedom and less government intervention do better than those with less economic freedom and more government intervention.

He calls free markets, private property rights, and the price system “the backbone of our civilization,” saying it’s difficult to make an argument to the contrary.

“The incredible success of the United States and the failure of the socialist countries are great illustrations of this issue,” he said.

He points out these facts to his students, in hopes of raising awareness and making his students responsible citizens.

“Whether you call this ‘free-market economics’ or not, I have never experienced any ridicule [from professors or students] for teaching it.”

College Fix contributor Andrew Desiderio is a student at The George Washington University.

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IMAGE: Main – Hammonton Photography/Flickr (Inside, Simon Bilo)

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Pop music star Miley Cyrus recently set the nation abuzz with her performance at the MTV music video awards. Apparently the country was aghast to see a scantily clad Millennial thrusting her hips sexually, as if that were a big deal.

The cover of this week’s People magazine includes a picture of Cyrus with her tongue sticking out and the headline: “Miley’s Mayhem: Taking Things Too Far?”

It’s clear from the reaction that average folks have not kept up with the news coming out of college campuses nowadays, because Cyrus’ hip thrusts pale in comparison to today’s university-based antics.

In the last school year alone there’s a parade of examples on which The College Fix has reported that makes Cyrus’ act look like a kiddie-ride at Disneyland:

1. Butt-Chugging 101: The time a bunch of frat boys thought it would be funny to get drunk by ingesting alcohol through their anuses. University of Tennessee, Oct. 2012.

2.‘Incest-fest’: The time a bunch of Ivy Leaguers thought it’d be cool to engage in “incest” and host a dorm orgy of sorts in which they’d all make out with their roommates. Harvard University, Nov. 2012

3. Professor Gone Wild: The time a science professor stripped to his underwear in front of his class and then had two ninjas come on stage and behead stuffed-animal lambs while war videos played in the background. Columbia University, Feb. 2013.

4. Masturbation Peek-A-Boo: The time a bunch of college students came up with a creative way to watch each other get off. Swarthmore College, Feb. 2013.

5. College Sex: The time female college students across the nation bragged in campus newspapers about how they like to be spanked, ejaculated on, watch porn and have sex in the school library. 2012-13 school year

6. Tranny Time: The time a devoutly catholic university hosted a drag show that featured an “Asian Glamasaurus” who strut his/her stuff while students nearby prayed the rosary. University of San Diego, May 2013.

7. Prostitution? No Biggie: The time nine percent of Yale University students who participated in a survey on sexual behavior reported having been paid for sex at least once. Yale University, March 2013.

8. Nudist Colony on Campus: The time college students hosted naked yoga, naked Shakespeare and naked body painting – all in front of a captive audience. Brown University, Sept. 2012.

9. Masturbation in a Church: The time a university hosted a masturbation tutorial for students on the same altar where the holy Eucharist is served. Allegheny College, Feb. 2013.

10. Full-Frontal Vagina: The time a university hosted billboard-sized pictures of vaginas in its quad. University of Cincinnati, March 2013.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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A few weeks ago, The College Fix broke the story about a course at Pasadena City College devoted entirely to porn. Fix contributor Jack Butler explained in his report:

First offered last spring, the class is a for-credit elective open to all students and does not require any prerequisites. In just one year, it’s come under national scrutiny after its instructor, Professor Hugo Schwyzer, invited a porn star to speak to its students.

But Schwyzer defended Navigating Pornography in an interview with The College Fix, calling the subject matter legitimate.

“(The course) focuses on giving students tools to understand pornography as a historical and contemporary phenomenon,” Schwyzer told The College Fix. “Students today live in a porn-saturated culture and very rarely get a chance to learn about it in a safe, non-judgmental, intellectually thoughtful way.”

The course doesn’t merely consist of viewing pornography. In fact, students do not view porn inside the classroom. Instead, they watch it on their own time as homework. Assignments include journals, a research paper, and a final exam, Schwyzer explained.

Mr. Butler’s report on this porn course attracted a lot of a attention in the new media, garnering links from The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post, Buzz Feed, and even got a mention from humor writer Dave Barry. The story went on to garner international attention, as with this report from Nación in Chile.

It’s a remarkable impact for a mere student journalist. But it’s the kind of thing we’re growing more and more used to here at The College Fix. Here are just a couple of further examples:

Contributor Ryan Lovelace’s report on his professor’s assertion that students must disregard their “American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status” when writing and speaking in the classroom garnered national attention and put Butler University administrators on the defensive.

Contributor Katie McHugh’s story about Allegheny College’s masturbation seminar held inside a campus chapel garnered links from Drudge, The Daily Mail of London, Fox News, and even provided material for a joke during Jay Leno’s opening monologue on The Tonight Show.

All jokes aside, our student reporters are shedding light on the appalling decline of academic standards in higher education, and they are doing the job of educating the public about the radical moral and political agendas polluting our colleges. In other words, they are reporting on stories that, oftentimes, would never see the light of day otherwise, if we had to rely on the mainstream media to inform us.

We are extremely proud of the investigative reporting our young writers, such as Mr. Butler, Mr. Lovelace, and Ms. McHugh, are doing–opposing the stifling liberal orthodoxy on our campuses, and giving voice to issues that are important to political conservatives, libertarians, people of faith–all the folks who are normally marginalized on our nation’s left-leaning college campuses.

As we near the end of another academic year–one that has been marked by explosive growth in readership for The College Fix, which has been visited by millions of readers already in 2013. Our non-stop stream of exclusive investigative articles that have shed light into the dark corners of elite liberal academia–and it’s all due to the hard work of our writers, who are juggling classes and sports and extracurricular activities in addition to their journalistic work.

I want to take a moment to recognize the excellent work of our student reporters. This site exists, foremost, to provide a platform for the conservative journalists of tomorrow. Here on these pages, talented students hone their skills and publish meaningful work long before they enter the professional world.

So here’s to our student contributors, who are doing so much today to inform the public of the truth on campus–and to their bright futures.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of Sex & God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

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Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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In the wake of news that Allegheny College hosted a sex seminar inside its Ford Memorial Chapel, details on those who led the discussion have emerged. Robert Stacy McCain reports that one of the “experts” that led the event didn’t exactly go to med school or anything.

Writing about co-host Katie Weinberg, he notes:

“So, two years ago, Kate Weinberg was performing in an improv troupe, last year she was teaching theater to high school kids in Vermont, and this year, she’s teaching a female orgasm seminar to college students in Pennsylvania!

Busy and versatile performer, this young Ms. Weinberg and, in addition to her “young adult novel” (which became “acclaimed” rather recently it seems), she’s adept at writing the quirky/clever type of autobiographical profile of herself.

You’re probably asking yourself, “With her busy career as an actress — and also the novel-writing, hiking in Spain and so forth — how did Kate ever find time to train as a teacher of the Our Whole Lives comprehensive sex education program”?

Does the phrase “three-day weekend” ring a bell?

Yep: That’s how long it takes to undergo the training sessions for “Our Whole Lives,” a program of the United Church of Christ.

This is the kind of top-notch expertise student fees at Alleghany College were paying for, and you’ll probably not be surprised that the organization that brings the highly-qualified Kate Weinberg to campus has also provided similar services for dozens of colleges and universities, from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (Tifton, Ga.) to Worcester State University in Massachusetts.”

Click here to read the full write up on TheOtherMcCain.com.

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In the last two weeks, two separate universities have hosted sex-themed events inside churches, highlighting a troubling new trend.

On Wednesday, Allegheny College hosted a sex and masturbation tutorial for students inside Ford Memorial Chapel. The chapel, built and dedicated in 1902, is where Catholic mass and non-denominational services are conducted every week at the private liberal arts college in northwestern Pennsylvania.

At the event, sex educators talked to students about how to touch themselves and their partners to reach orgasm.

On Feb. 8, Washington University in St. Louis hosted a panel of porn stars who talked to students about what it was like to work in the industry, and spoke on their most interesting sexual experiences, among other topics. That “Sex Week” event was hosted inside the private university’s Graham Chapel, dedicated in 1909.

At the porn seminar, the church’s alter played host to a row of porn panelists seated at a long table, and the moderator stood behind its tall, ornate wooden pulpit, a picture of the event published in the school’s student newspaper reveals.

Graham Chapel, which looks like a cathedral with tall ceilings and a looming pipe organ, is not actively used for church services, but rather weddings, concerts and plays, as well as the university’s weekly lecture series.

Nevertheless, the building’s Christian roots can be found among its large and impressive stained glass windows, which depict the dedication of King Solomon’s temple. Below the window reads an inscription that comes from 1 Kings: “The Lord God be with us, as He was with our fathers, that He may incline our hearts into him, to walk in all his ways and to keep His commandments.”

As for Ford Memorial Chapel at Allegheny College, in addition to academic lectures and other campus events, it hosts an Ecumenical chapel service every Sunday morning and a Roman Catholic Mass on Sunday evenings. Other worship events include periodic praise and worship services and Lenten services.

The sandstone chapel seats 600, and boasts a pipe organ and Gothic stained glass windows. Weddings are often hosted there as well.

For Catholics who attend services at Allegheny College’s Ford Memorial Chapel, the alter is considered a sacred area where they believe the Eucharist transforms into the presence of Jesus Christ during Mass.

What’s more, many Christians of all stripes believe it’s important to offer some measure of reverence to a building that hosts worship services, based on the following passage in the book of John:

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”  His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Some Biblical scholars have argued it must have taken Jesus a good ten minutes or more to fashion the whip he used to drive out the moneylenders. His act was not some gut reaction to the scene, but borne of deliberate thought and righteous anger.

It’s easy to recall this scene from the Bible when reading that at Allegheny College’s sex seminar, organizers sold orgasm-themed hats, T-shirts and books inside the church after the lesson ended.

That colleges are now hosting sex, porn and masturbation themed events inside churches is a prime example of the utter lack of respect administrators hold for the beliefs of Christian students. It’s safe to assume, for example, that a university would never consider hosting a porn or sex-themed event inside a mosque on or near campus.

This troubling trend highlights another aspect of the ongoing war on Jesus and Christianity at colleges across the nation that The College Fix has documented.

Other recent examples include a trend in which liberal seminary professors claim Jesus was bisexual. Click here to read about that.

What’s more, a recent look at hundreds of religious studies classes at universities across the nation uncovered that, for the most part, professors prefer to snub the subject of who Jesus was and what he preached. Classes that are focused on Christianity, meanwhile, tip-toe around or altogether avoid the topic of Christ’s teachings. Click here to read about that.

Jennifer Kabbany is assistant editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGE: Ron, Ron, Ron/Flickr

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MEADVILLE – Allegheny College’s Ford Memorial Chapel was transformed into a boudoir of sorts Wednesday night, as professional sex educators advised students in attendance how best to touch themselves and their partners to reach orgasm in what was billed as an educational seminar.

The chapel, built and dedicated in 1902, is where Catholic mass and non-denominational services are conducted every week at the private liberal arts college in northwestern Pennsylvania. But all that took a back pew to Wednesday’s festivities, dubbed “I Heart the Female Orgasm” and hosted by a variety of student groups on campus.

The two sex educators, Marshall Miller and Kate Weinberg, talked students through a variety of masturbation techniques during the event.

“Sometimes it can be difficult finding your G spot by yourself, because it involves inserting a finger or fingers inside the vagina into the front wall of the body, and that kind of results in an awkward, kind of clawlike hand position,” Weinberg said, demonstrating with a pawing motion as the audience giggled. “Obviously, there are better ways you can position your body. Or if you’ve got a partner, you can get your partner to insert their finger or fingers inside your vagina in the front wall of your body in a sort of a J curve.”

Miller also weighed in, noting “some (women) find that if they change the angle or position, they can find some way of rubbing against their partner’s body, against the base of his penis or pubic bone, and with rubbing to have enough stimulation to orgasm in intercourse.”

In statements to The College Fix, the college’s chaplain defended the event’s location, calling its theme “responsible,” and a campus spokesperson said it offered a “great message.”

While the chapel is hosting services in conjunction with Lent, on Wednesday the building turned into a sexual marketplace of sorts, as student groups sold buttons, t-shirts and hats bearing the program’s name inside the chapel itself after the event concluded. They also sold the book written by program coordinators Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot titled “I Heart Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide.”

Meanwhile, the sex educators had also told students masturbation is not a sin.

“Some people figure out masturbation and orgasm as teenagers, some people figure it out later than that,” said Weinberg, describing her lifelong fascination with pleasuring herself. “And some people figure it out earlier than that. Like preschool age. I was part of that last category.”

Weinberg also weighed in on a portion of the Book of Genesis in regard to masturbation.

“So this primary anti-masturbation story is about this guy, Onan. … And Onan refused to sleep with his brother’s wife, so he spilled his seed on the ground — that’s how it’s defined — and for that, God struck him dead,” she said.

But Weinberg said she believes that because Biblical scholars debate the exact meanings of many portions of the Bible, it permits a wide variety of sexual activity.

“A lot of Bible scholars say that’s the primary anti-masturbation story, but I don’t really see it,” she continued. “Onan wasn’t struck dead for masturbating. He was struck down for not sleeping with his brother’s wife. So the masturbation wasn’t the sin. So obviously, you know, the Bible is something that is interpreted in a lot of different ways.”

During the event, Weinberg and Miller played the famous fake orgasm scene from “When Harry Met Sally” on a projected screen, and also displayed different anatomical diagrams depicting women’s genitals.

“If you’ve got a vagina, your genitals are tucked pretty neatly inside your body. It’s a pretty handy place to keep one’s genitals, really. But because of this, many heterosexual women have never seen another woman’s vagina or vulva,” Weinberg said. “If you’ve got cool dangly parts down there, if you’re voluptuous, if one side’s longer than the other, if your va-jay-jay’s got some character, some personality, it’s not a sign that you’re abnormal and deformed. It’s a sign that you’re a healthy adult woman.”

Weinberg later held up two books titled I’ll Show You Mine and Petals, encouraging students to flip through them after the program: “We’ve got two amazing books up here with pages and pages of art photographs of vaginas and vulvas.”

The event was hosted by Allegheny’s student government and Allegheny College’s Reproductive Health Coalition, along with Young Feminists and Queers and Allies. It was funded by student activities fees.

Student reaction to the seminar was mixed.

One Christian student, Shannon McAvinchey, 20, said the school’s student government supported Christian groups on campus and were not trying to intentionally offend Christian students by hosting the event in the chapel. At the same time, however, she said some students’ attitudes towards Christians troubled her.

“I guess what frustrates me most is when you say you’re a Christian, your views are automatically not so much disrespected as dismissed,” McAvinchey said.

Other students, however, were excited on their way to the chapel, chatting and laughing happily.

“I have needs!” one girl said.

“I have condoms! Jesus!” her friend shrieked.

Officials at the college took a blasé attitude toward the event.

Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickel, who conducts non-denominational Christian services each Sunday and manages the office of Spiritual and Religious Life, said in an email to The College Fix that she saw nothing wrong with the event, and hoped students would feel comfortable attending a religious service there later.

“I don’t have a problem with it being held in the chapel. The program advocates responsible, respectful decision-making regarding sexual behavior, and includes the option waiting for marriage, a message that resonates with many students of faith. While the name may have some shock value, the event itself is consistent with our policy of opening the building to campus groups. We would love it if students at such an event experience the chapel as a welcoming space, and then feel encouraged to attend a religious service or program.”

Another campus administrator told The College Fix he had no problem with the event’s location.

“They have a great message about caring relationships,” said Dean of Students Joe DiChristina in an e-mail. “I appreciated their approach.”

Fix contributor Katie McHugh is a student at Allegheny College.

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IMAGE: Allegheny College Ford Memorial Chapel

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