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‘The men of Notre Dame request a porn filter’: student group takes on porn problem

A group of students at the University of Notre Dame are calling on their peers to consider the detrimental effects of watching pornography and asking administrators to consider installing a porn blocker on the campus Wi-Fi system.

The requests are part of a “White Ribbon Against Pornography Week” campaign underway at the prestigious Catholic institution by the campus group Students for Child-Oriented Policy. The anti-porn effort is an annual tradition now in its third year.

“Our goal … is to help students realize how damaging pornography consumption is to your physical and psychological well-being,” group President James Martinson told The College Fix. “With 68 percent of divorces citing pornography usage as a contributing factor, we also want Notre Dame students to understand how the industry affects the lives of those around them as well.”

What’s more, a big part of their campaign this year is to request that Notre Dame take a stance against pornography by filtering its Wi-Fi network. In a letter to the editor published Tuesday in the Observer campus newspaper titled “The men of Notre Dame request a porn filter,” dozens of male students called on the administration to act, saying:

In the face of the massive violation of human dignity perpetuated by pornography production and consumption, many organizations worldwide have taken the simple, positive step of internet filtering. Unfortunately, Notre Dame has yet to take this step. The Notre Dame Internet Compliance Policy prohibits the access of pornographic material, but the University has not enforced this policy.

As a university that champions social justice, human rights, equality and dignity, Notre Dame ought to block pornography using the technology available to us. Doing so represents both an attempt to eradicate pornography from the campus culture and, more broadly, a strong stance against sexual assault, sex trafficking and other human rights violations. We have come to expect our school to be a driving force for cultural change in our nation, and pornography is a cultural issue that needs changing.

“We are still discussing the filter with administration,” Martinson told The Fix. “I am confident that President John Jenkins will do the right thing and agree to make the necessary changes to the Wi-Fi network by the end of the school year.”

A letter to the editor expected to be published tomorrow in the campus newspaper is signed by female students at the school who call for the same action. “Every human person is worthy of the utmost dignity and respect. Pornography use at Notre Dame threatens this respect by preventing men and women from encountering the full personhood of one another in friendships and relationships. How? Pornography propagates a mindset that people, especially women, are mere sex objects,” their letter states in part.

The students are displaying a banner and petition to encourage peers to join the effort lobbying for the porn filter. The weeklong campaign also includes a prayer service and series of panels, including a lecture titled “Children, Marriage, and Happiness” and another called “Sex and the Brain: The Impact of Sexually Explicit Media.”

VIDEO: How long does a pro-traditional marriage sign last on Catholic campuses? About 5 minutes.

IMAGE: Hafizi / Shutterstock

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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