Editor’s note: This article contains descriptions of highly graphic photos depicting hardcore pornography and sexual violence, and also embeds a YouTube video that briefly shows the images and discusses them. The College Fix obtained copies of the photos but decided not to republish them, even in a censored format. The images may be seen on Imgur. The College Fix advises viewer discretion.
The student newspaper at Evergreen State College recently published a photo spread that depicted hardcorn pornography and sexual violence imagery, including a naked man with a knife pressed against his penis and a woman licking fake feces splattered on another woman’s anal region.
The Cooper Point Journal is the public university’s biweekly student newspaper and is funded with mandatory student activity fees and advertising dollars. It focused a recent issue on a student artist who created the unique and shocking work, a series of black and white photos.
The feature was published Feb. 7, and the front cover prominently featured a woman in lingerie fingering her vagina. The back cover was a full-page photo of a man’s butt atop a woman’s face. Another photo inside the newspaper included a naked woman riding a man’s back while holding up some sort of chain wrapped around his neck.
The article in the Arts & Culture section accompanying the spread focused on the artist, student Bailey Coates, who appears to go by the pronouns “they/their,” and is described as having discovered a passion for photography “due to an accidental class enrollment at Evergreen.”
It describes Coates’ academic work for this current quarter as a “project to think about the sometimes scary aspects of having a body and what that means when having sex.”
“Scary-bad while simultaneously scary-good,” the article adds, as well as “… funny, gross, uncomfortable.”
One photo shows the bottom of the naked man with a knife pressed against his penis, and the photo of a woman licking fake feces splattered on another woman’s butt is an ode to a “shit fetish,” the material used chocolate cake, according to the article.
The article also reports that the artist takes many photos delving into the “furry subculture” and has a dream of photo shooting an orgy.
Cooper Point Journal editors chose to highlight some extreme examples of Coates’ work without offering any sort of content warning, or even ensuring images which represent hardcore pornography could not be accessed by any minor children on campus, as sometimes high school students, or adult students with kids, are on campus, too.
Newspaper racks are located in main areas at the dorms, administrative building, library, and student activity buildings.
The College Fix reached out to multiple sources at Evergreen, including the student editor and faculty advisor for The Cooper Point Journal regarding the content of the Feb. 7 issue, and received the following unsigned reply: “It is not Cooper Point Journal policy to respond to requests for comments regarding articles. We would like to say that as a staff the question of suggestive content came up, and we have decided as a group to incorporate a narrative content description into every future issue of The Cooper Point Journal, to be located in the information section at the front of the paper.”
The article initially circulated around campus without much fanfare, however it soon caught the attention of several people, including Evergreen alumnus Benjamin Boyce, and embattled former Evergreen Professor Bret Weinstein.
Boyce, on his YouTube page, created an artistic video of his own titled “Minds Wide Shut.” In it, he reads from the article, then contrasts it with statements Evergreen President George Bridges has given about so-called safe places.
Boyce notes that while Bridges, and Evergreen in general, are quick to promote safe places, none were offered when sexually violent pornographic images were freely distributed on campus.
Boyce notes the presence of minor children on campus, and lampooned Bridges for expecting students to be shielded from ideas they may find uncomfortable, while at the same time, the college newspaper distributes material that can be seen as actually traumatic.
Weinstein tweeted a link to Boyce’s video to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and called for the governor to “step in” because “madness reigns” at Evergreen.
Last May, @HeatherEHeying and I came to your office to alert you that @EvergreenStCol had descended into anarchy. You and the Board of Trustees did not act. TESC now faces financial ruin as madness reigns. Please step in.
— Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) February 26, 2018
At least one student at Evergreen said they felt the feature was a bad decision by the student newspaper.
“When we have a student-led resource like The Cooper Point Journal, it should be utilized as an upward motion resource, instead of a cesspool that is a dumping ground for the editor’s and author’s psychiatric disorders,” Evergreen senior Melinda Bratsch told The College Fix.
The Cooper Point Journal states its on its website that its mission “is to provide an outlet for student voices, and to inform and entertain the Evergreen community and the Olympia-area more broadly, as well as to provide a platform for students to learn about operating a news publication.”