Without a license, NCSU’s Dirty Bingo event becomes less dirty

hpaytes@newsobserver.comFebruary 8, 2013 

— A student event at N.C. State University titled “Dirty Bingo” was cleaned up on Friday by an unexpected source: the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Dirty Bingo, which was sponsored by the student-run Union Activities Board and designed to teach students safe sex practices, attracted attention for its choice of prizes that included vibrators and other sex toys. Students and parents called for administrators and members of the board to cancel the event, citing the prizes as an inappropriate use of student fees.

Board President Lauryn Collier wrote in a prepared statement Thursday that programmers and concerned students would work together “to pull any items we deem unsuitable for this student event.”

But it was the Department of Public Safety that forced the board’s hand after it informed Collier that it is a Class 2 misdemeanor to offer a bingo prize costing more than $10 without a bingo license and a Class 1 felony to award prizes costing more than $50.

The board didn’t have a bingo license, which costs $200 and must be renewed each year.

Because the more controversial prizes at the event all cost more than $10, they have been removed from the program, Collier said.

The board spent $305 on 25 prizes, including a 50 Shades of Grey book and game, six vibrators and other sex toys.

Although the prizes have been changed, the event will continue as scheduled, Collier said. It will take place Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the campus cinema at Witherspoon Student Center.

The board is also working to find external funding for the event. The money to fund it came from the $15.13 union activities board fee.

Will Holland, 20, a sophomore from Winston-Salem majoring in economics and engineering, said he considered using student money to pay for the program “frivolous spending.” If the board found outside funding, Holland said he wouldn’t be worried about the event.

“If they choose to spend the money themselves that is their prerogative,” he said.

Sam Mazany, 20, a junior communications major from Cary, said he felt that the issue over money was a pretext for people’s “prudish” attitudes toward sex.

“I am surprised to see people come out of the woodwork for this one little event,” Mazany said. “I don’t really think it is about the money.”

Paytes: 919-836-4918

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