- Associated Press - Sunday, October 26, 2014
ETSU wonders about impact of sex week

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - Students and administrators on the Johnson City campus of East Tennessee State University are wondering about the impact three days of sex education known as Sex Week may have on the campus.

Although the $9,340 requested by the event’s organizers was denied by the student Senate, the group has achieved more than a quarter of the needed money through online fundraising.

Vice President of Student Affairs Joe Sherlin told The Johnson City Press (http://bit.ly/1ptt7WZhttp://bit.ly/1ptt7WZ ) that reservation forms for Sex Week were filed with the university weeks ago to hold spots for the scheduled programming.

“All of our polices and state laws allow student organizations to hold events on campus as long as reservation forms are filed and procedures are followed.”

Student Sen. Alex Cassell is worried Sex Week events could draw attention from state legislators and hurt the school’s funding. In conferring with two legislators whom he declined to name, Cassell said he was told any such event on campus could trigger new legislation setting up an opt-in, opt-out funding structure for student fees.

“The funding essential from the state would go out the window, and students would have to choose whether to opt-in,” Cassell said. “If they still had the event, if ETSU holds a Sex Week on our campus, they hold the right to force us into that program.”

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Two-thirds of seniors apply for Tenn. Promise

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - With a Nov. 1 deadline approaching, nearly two-thirds of Tennessee’s high school seniors have applied for a new scholarship program that guarantees to cover the costs of a two-year college degree.

Among them is 17-year-old Christian Woodfin, a senior at Red Bank High School. He told The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bitly.com/1tyMovqhttp://bitly.com/1tyMovq ) that without the Tennessee Promise program, it would have been difficult for him to attend college.

He plans to use the program to get a two-year degree in fire science and engineering so he can be a firefighter.

Gov. Bill Haslam has visited high schools around the state to promote Tennessee Promise. He hopes the program will help boost the number of Tennesseans with two- or four-year degrees to 55 percent, up from 33 percent now.

Some 42,000 of Tennessee’s roughly 62,000 high school seniors have applied.

Most students who apply probably won’t enroll, according to state officials. Based on the experience with Tennessee Achieves, a smaller, similar program upon which Tennessee Promise was modeled, about 16 percent of applicants actually enroll, said Dave Smith, Haslam’s press secretary.

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Online campaign aims to help abortion amendment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An online campaign is urging Tennessee voters to skip over the governor’s election as a way to help pass a proposed constitutional amendment that would give lawmakers more power to regulate abortion in the state.

The two main groups campaigning on the amendment don’t know who is behind the online effort, and no one has taken credit for it, The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/ZQsVdT) reported.

The website at truthon1.org features a YouTube video in which a woman explains why sitting out the governor’s race between Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and Democrat Charlie Brown next month might be good for supporters of Amendment 1.

The logic hinges on a provision in the state constitution that outlines the threshold an amendment must get for it to succeed - a majority of the votes cast in the gubernatorial election regardless of the number of votes cast on the amendment.

That means that if 1.5 million people vote in the abortion referendum and 1.4 million vote for governor, 700,001 votes will get the job done for the amendment, even if the total is less than half on that issue. But if 1.4 million vote for governor and just 1.3 million people vote on the abortion referendum, anti-abortion forces will still need 700,001 votes.

“I know you may think this is crazy, but it doesn’t matter,” the video says. “It’s the law. What does it mean for us? Vote yes for Amendment 1, but don’t vote in the governor’s race. The less people who vote in the governor’s race means it takes less votes to pass the amendment.

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