The University of Oregon is raising some eyebrows around the country today after an investigation found the school paid sex columnist Dan Savage $24,000 to speak at the school. Any venture the school spends money on is invariably tied to Oregon taxpayers, who provide the school with over $50 million a year in funding.
The school brought in Savage for a night of sexual discussion as the school prepares to launch its SexPositive smartphone app. The app not only provides students with sexual health information, but also has a feature that alerts students of possible health risks for any given number of sexual situations they select.
Savage’s $24,000 contract with the school was unveiled by The Register Guard through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Keith Van Norman, the university’s marketing manager for the University Health Center, publicly supports the school’s decision to bring Savage in for the event.
“The university brings lots of speakers to campus,” Van Norman said. “The return a university gets from sponsoring programs where students are exposed to nationally prominent resource people is in the form of sparking thought and considering new perspectives. This is part of the work of a university.”
Van Norman says the SexPositive app launch was a success, and the app has already been downloaded by over 4,000 students.
“We are pleased with the activities to educate students about health,” he said.
Other noteworthy perks from Savage’s contract with the school include a “green room” near the site of the event, bottled water, a fruit and veggie tray, and either a ham or turkey sandwich. I’d go with ham.