The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Senate discussing nudity policy on Guilford campus

Under North Carolina general statute 14-190.9, “any person who shall willfully expose the private parts of his or her person in any public place and in the presence of any other person or persons, except for those places designated for a public purpose where the same sex exposure is incidental to a permitted activity … shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.” When it comes to nudity on Guilford College campus, the Student Handbook has the same restriction.

However,  on Jan. 18, Community Senate held an open forum session where students were allowed to come and voice their opinions on the Guilford regulations as well as possible alternatives depending on administration approval.

“We’re just trying to feel out a general sampling of what the student body thinks about it and what they might think would make for positive additions to our community,” said senior and Community Senate Vice President Brian Jones.

As was pointed out in Senate, the state law gives exception to public places specifically designated to be nudist-friendly, as long as the users of said place give their consent. Meaning that if the administration were to agree to it, a section of the woods or a house on campus could be designated as a nudist-friendly zone and would be legal under state law.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” said senior Ben Heide. “What’s the point in keeping a policy that students want changed?”

That having been said, there are still many who wish to keep nudism out of Guilford College.

“I don’t foresee us taking a ‘more open stance concerning nudism’, regardless of what we think, or what the stance of the school is,” Director of Public Safety Ron Stowe said. “The plain and simple matter is that public nudity is illegal and punishable under state law.”

Some students agree with Stowe’s observation on the matter and believe nudism sends the wrong message about Guilford. Junior Michael Greer said that it could scare off potential students and trustees.

“It’s more of a distraction to students than anything,” said Geer. “If students want to go around nude, they could have chosen a school with an open policy on nudism, not Guilford.”

“We are still trying to follow the state’s laws, but at the same time, we are trying to create an open and non-hostile environment for the students who wish to practice nudism,” said first-year and senator Alexander Morales.

The problem for Community Senate is how exactly to do that without going against the administrative regulations on the subject.

“The whole atmosphere around Guilford College is that this is a place students can come and become the person they want to be, within the reasonable limits of reality,” said Jones.

At Guilford, if students feel strongly on an issue, they are urged to bring it up for discussion, either through Community Senate or alternative means.

This does not mean such initiatives will be passed; there are still issues that need to be discussed.

“Aside from the legality of the issue, there are numerous safety and security issues associated with nudism that concern me as the Director of Public Safety,” said Stowe.

As far as nudity is concerned, Community Senate is still considering the topic and will likely address it again.

“If people want the topic brought up again, they need to talk to their senators,” Morales said. “That way we know what needs to be addressed in meetings.”

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