Penn State’s Daily Collegian Sex Column ‘Mounting Nittany’ Temporarily Pulled

The buzzworthy sex column launched earlier this semester in The Daily Collegian at Penn State University has been placed on temporary hiatus in light of the sex abuse scandal that continues to overwhelm campus.

As I wrote previously on CMM, the early October premiere of “Mounting Nittany,” the first sex column published within the Collegian, provoked a massive online response.  In subsequent weeks, it maintained a cult love-it-or-hate-it following.

Yet, as Jim Romenesko first reported yesterday on his eponymous site (I consider this his first post-Poynter mini-scoop), the column has not been run since a piece on hooking up was published at the start of the month– two days prior to Jerry Sandusky’s arrest.

Daily Collegian editor-in-chief Lexi Belculfine told Romenesko the column initially did not appear in print simply due to the bevy of breaking news and related space constraints, including an influx of letters to the editor about the scandal.

As she noted, “In the week that followed, we offered Kristina Helfer [the columnist] the opportunity to write a sex column on the scandal or sexual assault, but she decided that based on the tone of the previous columns that it would not be ‘respectful to those who have been affected by sexual assault’ to write the column that week. Instead, we ran another columnist’s piece on the importance of not being a passive bystander.  Looking forward, based on the current situation and mood at Penn State, we have decided to remove the column for the time being.”

My take: A smart, respectful move given the circumstances.  And just one of the many excellent editorial decisions being made by Collegian staffers as they continue their comprehensive coverage of the scandal.


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