Raleigh, N.C. — The University Union Activities Board at North Carolina State wanted to think creatively to draw attention to a safe-sex seminar for students. They planned bingo with prizes linked to their theme.
But what UAB saw as a turn-on proved a turn-off for some, and the more risque items will stay in the box.
The Facebook invitation to "Dirty Bingo" shows a photo of condoms. "Win some 'unique' prizes while having a good time, laughing, being entertained and learning about safe practices," it reads.
The game isn't scheduled until next Tuesday, but UAB President Lauryn Alexis Collier found herself defending the plan Thursday night. Comments on Facebook called the event "disgusting," and a counter-protest is planned by students who balked at the use of student activity funds for sex toys.
Collier said bingo players could win a copy of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and sex-themed games and toys.
Sex educators will use some of the items to demonstrate safe-sex practices; others were designated as gag gifts, Collier said. "Health Promotions will be giving away non-sexual items such as koozies, gift-cards and T-shirts," she added.
Collier, a junior, said event planners spent about $300 to purchase prizes. "I was not aware of what was purchased. When I did see it, I said a few of the items I feel like we could do without," she said.
"They wanted to do a sex education event. They wanted to mix things up. That is why they decided on 'Dirty Bingo,'" she said. "People are not used to out-of-the-box events."
Freshman Mark Gorton said the plan didn't bother him, so long as participants were old enough to legally purchase the same items. "They could just go out and get it. I do not see why there would be a problem winning it," he said.
But his classmate Danielle Stallings failed to see the value or the humor. "I don't see how it relates to sex education, getting sex toys," she said.