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Student guide ‘stands up’ for his beliefs by wearing ‘I [heart] Female Orgasm’ shirt on campus tour

Swarthmore College student tour guide Jordan Reyes was questioned recently by the school’s vice president and admissions dean after he decided to keep wearing his “I <3 Female Orgasm” shirt during a campus admissions tour.

According to The Daily Gazette, after being asked to work another tour guide’s shift back on April 6, Reyes says an assistant dean of admissions asked him to cover up the shirt before the tour began. The school’s Tour Guide Handbook does state “Clothing should not be revealing or have offensive messages. Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t wear to grandma’s house.”

Reyes initially agreed to the request, but soon changed his mind. After all, he got the shirt at a February event hosted by the Women’s Resource Center for Gender Equity, and Sexual Health Advocates!

“Swatties are the type of students that will stand up for what they believe in, even if they think it’ll get them in trouble,” Reyes said. “I’m covering up my own shirt, which means a lot to me, because I was asked to, and if I unzip my jacket I’m going to get in trouble.

“That’s just not what I should be doing,” he said.

Then, Admissions Dean Jim Bock received a complaint about the shirt later that day.

From the story:

When asked about the incident, Dean Bock provided email comment. “We do expect all of our employees to honor our written policies of employment and to follow verbal instructions about appropriate workplace attire,” Bock wrote. “This is no different from any other job, be it a full-time job after graduation, or a part-time student job.”

During their meeting, Reyes told Dean Bock that it was not clear whether [Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Emily] Almas was asking him to cover the shirt up as a favor or if it was a formal request have it covered.

“If that’s something that you want to avoid in the future, then you need to make that clear in training,” Reyes said.

“We do expect our student employees to be sensitive to, and put the needs of our guests before their own,” Bock wrote in his statement. He explained that no student was suspended or fired. “And if an employee feels they wish to resign, we of course honor their wish,” he said.

“He essentially presented me with an ultimatum,” Reyes said.

Reyes has since resigned from the position.

Reyes’ fellow tour guide Nathalie Baer-Chan thought the college’s response was out of line: “I think the treatment and ultimatum given to Jordan was pretty infuriating and frankly hypocritical.

“If the school wants to continue to capitalize off of the radical energy of its students, it cannot in good conscience continue to punish students for exhibiting that same quality when it’s no longer convenient or exploitable.”

Despite the origin of the shirt, Reyes should consider that his intent might not matter at all to certain groups of people. Just recall the reaction to the guys who tried to promote “affirmative consent” at DePaul University two and a half years ago.

Read the full piece.

MORE: Lesson for bros who want to promote affirmative consent: Don’t make T-shirts

MORE: DePaul threatened trademark suit against ‘Consent the D’ sexual-assault campaign

MORE: Minnesota State Helps Incoming Freshmen Bone Up On ‘Female Orgasm’

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.