Inappropriate Mass Valentines Prompt Review

After Central Services alerted the Dean of Students’ office about a number of anonymous Valentine’s Day cards in mailboxes, the Dean of Students’ office took preventative measures to ensure that the cards given en-masse were not offensive. “On Monday, the mailroom called me after discovering some anonymous cards in a number of boys’ boxes that were very raunchy and contained offensive sexual innuendo. Ms. [Vimala] Mohammed [Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students] and I went down and pulled about fifteen of the most offensive Valentines out of people’s boxes,” said Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students Kennan Daniel. The office then required that any student distributing large numbers of cards to student mailboxes have their valentines approved. Students were required to show one of their cards to check its appropriateness, and were also asked whether or not the cards were signed. Colleen Thurman ’07, who had her valentines checked before she distributed them, said, “[The Dean of Students’ office] just wanted to see that you weren’t doing anything mean or offensive. It would have been pretty easy to get around though if you wanted to put something mean or harassing.” Claire Voegele ’07 was unaware of the reason for the extra scrutiny when Central Services sent her to the Dean of Students’ office. She said, “They just wanted to see what you were giving out, but it was kind of like they were checking for contraband. It was just a little bit weird…I guess it’s an OK thing to do, but why do it? Its just candy or jokes or whatever, nothing illegal.” Ms. Daniel said, “It was strictly a preventative measure. We didn’t deny anyone permission, we normally have kids come down anyway before any type of mass mailbox stuffing for campaigns, etc. just to check that what’s being distributed isn’t offensive.” She continued, “Of the thirty five valentines from the one [student], we only took fifteen out of boxes…but the ones that had an implied sexual act were very distasteful and offensive. If you put something like that in someone’s mailbox and you sign your name to it, then at least they know who is responsible and know who to direct their reaction at, someone is accountable. But when you anonymously give cards like that, it can make people unfairly uncomfortable.”