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Harvard approves student group devoted to kinky sex on campus

By Michael Martinez, CNN
December 1, 2012 -- Updated 0103 GMT (0903 HKT)
Harvard University approved a student group devoted to kinky sex a university spokesman said Friday.
Harvard University approved a student group devoted to kinky sex a university spokesman said Friday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The group uses code-red privacy for board meetings and social events
  • The student club promotes understanding of 'alternative sexualities and kink on campus'
  • Munch is a term in the kink community referring to social meal meeting
  • So far, 30 students have joined, the founder tells the campus newspaper

(CNN) -- Call it Fifty Shades of Crimson, if you will.

The august flagship of the Ivy League, Harvard University, approved Friday a student group devoted to kinky sex called Harvard College Munch, a university spokesman said.

The group promotes "a positive and accurate understanding of alternative sexualities and kink on campus, as well as to create a space where college-age adults may reach out to their peers and feel accepted in their own sexuality," according to the school website.

The 30-student club acknowledges that kink is often associated with BDSM -- bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism -- but the group doesn't seek to define "kink" and accepts "students with any kinky interest," the club's constitution says.

"No other group exists as a forum for students interested in alternative sexualities to explore their identities and develop a community with their peers," the group says on the school website.

The group will have privacy standards for its members, its constitution says.

Formal recognition allows the group to receive grants, post campus notices, and use campus meeting spaces, according to a profile of the group in the school newspaper, The Harvard Crimson.

The student club's founder, whom the newspaper identified only as Michael, has already held discussion-group gatherings during "munch," a term used in the kink community at-large to refer to a social meal meeting, the Crimson reported.

The group doesn't tolerate traumatic abuse or assault, however, and has formed a safety team to direct victims toward help, another group member told the paper.

Harvard spokesman Jeff Neal said the school doesn't endorse the view or activities of any officially recognized student group.

The school requires the more than 400 independent student organizations to comply with "straightforward requirements, ranging from submitting an organizational constitution to agreeing to the nondiscrimination and anti-hazing policies," Neal said.

"Applications for recognition are decided by a student-faculty committee following the review of a committee composed of students and administrators," Neal said.

Harvard College Munch uses a five-color code for events to protect members' privacy. For example, public speakers, conventions and Sex Week events are open to the public and coded blue, the least private category, the group says.

Board meetings, social and support events, and personal discussions are open only to current undergraduate members of the group under a red code, the group says.

A gray code is for unofficial events publicized by the group's e-mail list but not endorsed by the group. Such events are privately planned and include parties, friendly lunches, movie nights and shopping trips, the group says in its constitution.

CNN's Samira Jafari contributed to this report.

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