Staff Editorial

University’s reputation tarnished by calendar

Two Bauer students have started a business that has placed our University in a spotlight, albeit a tiny one. These two enterprising Cougars have created a calendar that features scantily clad female UH students posing in bikinis and less-than conservative attire.

Campus Calendar Girls bills itself as a charitable organization, but in reality it only donates 10 percent of its revenue to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. While we can’t condemn anyone for donating to two noble causes, using the guise of charity to exploit female students is offensive to our campus.

This is primarily because it sheds a negative light on the women of our University and devalues their achievements as students at a Carnegie-designated Tier One Research Institution. Having a calendar full of provocatively-posing students undoes the work the current administration has done to refine our national academic reputation and increase the prestige of our University.

This calendar brings a kind of attention to UH that isn’t in keeping with the achievements and advances we’re making every day on a national level. In fact, it creates the illusion that students here aren’t as concerned with education as they are with social standings.

Furthermore, it tarnishes the reputation of the Bauer School of Business, which is a nationally-ranked business school. Surely Bauer students have more to offer than this — there’s nothing original or interesting about exploiting women to make a quick buck. Such a reputable business school should be teaching its students to be innovative in their approach to applying their degrees. There are certainly students at Bauer whose ideas are more deserving of recognition than those responsible for Campus Calendar Girls.

While they should undoubtedly be applauded for the success of their start up, that success is tainted by the fact that a cheap idea is what earned them the limelight.


  • "Let's have a large and diverse community, as long as it conforms to social norms."

    You know, I like this idea. Let's stop teaching evolution, too. Don't want to create the wrong impression.

    At some point, you people ("you" being: those who think that when they find something objectionable it should be suppressed) are going to realize that being able to censor things *you* don't like means other people get to censor things *they* don't like. Or society will collapse into anarchy. My guess is that the latter will happen first.

    I mean, what the hell is the point of even publishing the DC? This is appearing under the byline of the *entire DC staff*. Literally the ENTIRE staff believes in censorship. The ENTIRE staff believes we, as the University of Houston, should dispense with our freedoms to APPEAR more acceptable to others. You people are an abomination. You should all be fired on principle – that you don't understand the very freedoms that allow you to be employed. Expect to see this editorial at the next Student Activity Fee committee meeting.

  • yes. some of the girls may appear to you and I as "trashy" but who are we to say that it is right or wrong for them to be? This wasn't a University of Houston OFFICIAL Calendar sponsored by the school or the SPB so why waste your time hating? If anything it's PROMOTING the social aspect of a University that is lacking. Probably one of the ONLY things that other schools like UT and TAMU can boast over UH is the social scebe that is nonexistant here.

    But since you, someone with the power to express your opinion openly, disagree with what is going on, it's now "WRONG"

    I think rather than spend your time and power of thre press to criticize those who are creatively engaging the students of the university, you should oh… idk.. DO SOMETHING TO MAKE UH BETTER.

  • This article is ridiculous! I am a staff member and do not agree with the persons editorial about this calendar!
    The women are not exploited either.
    Exploit–to make use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage

    Hardly were these women exploited!!

    As far as this bringing down the University's reputation…I can think of a million other things that rightfully could. The creative work behind the calendar and the students who brought forth such a notion should be congratulated!

  • whoever's hating this article most likely doesn't have a clue about women's issues and how to solve them properly. go educate yourselves and then comment, scrubs.

    props to the daily cougar for speaking out against this!

    • Funny how if it was a bunch of guys posing I bet you wouldn't bat an eye. Also it is funny that women you chose to be in the calendar , you know of their own free will and desire, is that not their right to do so, is that not taking away rights from them? Love your double standard and that of the article's author.

        • But you still can…? You should'nt smoke cigarettes because their bad for you, ergo the government or some other "White Knight" should ride in and make sure that your not doing bad things to yourself because your too stupid to know whats good for you?

        • No they don't. A person who is suicidal is not in their right mind (or so is the position of the government of every state in the US except Oregon).

    • yes the way to fix womens issues is to tell women when their being misbehaved and correct their behavior accordingly. Nope, not patronizing in the least.

        • Isn't it a bit condescending to assume that these women did not know full well enough about the situation before they posed for this calendar?

      • Isn't it their bodies and they can choose to do with it what they will? If they want to make a profit and have some of that profit go to a charity then so be it.

  • In the interest of accurate definitions, I would like to point out that editorial does not advocate censorship – the practice of prohibiting or destroying media than a particular authority disagrees with – but rather states that the commodification and objectification of young women harms the reputation of the institution. The fact that the women involved consented, or that a small amount of the profit is being donated to charitable institutions, does not alter these facts.

    That said, I don't think the harm done to the institution of the university is as significant as the editorial states. The real harm is that which we do to ourselves, by continuing to view human beings as objects. I know I am guilty of this every day. Let me spoil the calender a little for those who read this. Look at the eyes of the human beings being photographed. Imagine their struggles to stay in school, to get decent grades, to make a better life for themselves and the ones they love. Imagine they are people, and not objects designed for titillation. Imagine that they are real.

    • >In the interest of accurate definitions, I would like to point out that editorial does not advocate censorship

      I don't mean to tell you what you think you know, but:

      Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.

      Let's look for some key elements, shall we?

      "Suppression of speech" – article specifically calls for these not to be produced and/or distributed. That sounds like suppression to me.

      "may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people" – on the grounds that it is a) objectionable to c) sensitive individuals and b) harmful to UH's reputation at d) an inconvenient time (when we are trying to move to Tier 1).

      "as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body." – The DC is b) a student-run newspaper that obtains funding from c) the Student Activities Fee which is levied by a) the University of Houston, and institution of the government of the State of Texas.

      Care to try again?

      • I'll stand by my definition, Mike, off the cuff as it is. The editorial criticizes the calender – but it does not call for the calender to be pulled, or say it should be shredded, or that its distribution in any way should be curtailed – a key point in your definition. Even if it did call for these acts, it doesn't have the authority to enforce them.

        The fact that some one doesn't like what you do, and says so publicly, does not in fact mean that you are being censored.

        • Mike, I think you might be letting your anger get in the way of your ability to analyze. In general, don't use quotes (" ") unless you are actually quoting what someone has written or said. No where in the editorial does it say "it shouldn't be produced." It specifically avoids this sort of language, and concentrates on the negative effects that the calender produces. None of which you chose to dispute, I note.

          Focus instead on what the author has written. This will not only allow you to improve your rhetoric in these sorts of forums, but it will also help to improve your grades for analysis in written papers, as well.

  • this isn't about suppressing something. this is about noticing patriarchal behavior. a calendar like this that reduces the worth of women to their bikini bods reeks of it.

  • This is ridicules, no one hates Miss America because she is out parading herself to try and get a scholarship, it does not look bad on our country and it is even considered and honor to do this. Why is it such a bad thing for these girls to do this. It is like a few people are hurt because they did not like how these girls were chosen or what it represents to themselves but it does not look down upon our school. In fact it may be a good thing for our school to have this little extra publicity for our school. It is not a bad thing in the least you should be applauding these girls for doing what they want and helping the world a little while doing it. Not tearing them down.

    Shame on you all for this.

  • I am yet to understand how this calendar would make someone write such a hateful article. As previously stated, these girls are pictured in ways that would otherwise seem normal for example in pagents and runways. The creativeness of the idea and followers this has gained should be applauded not torn down because of the miniscule fact that the girls portraits are concidered "racy" by some. And yes its "only" 10% going to charity, but at least they thought to give some of their profits for a good cause, not many would have.

  • Cougar editorial board? Put your names on it. Maybe the university should have the school sponsored cheer squad cover up a little more…. and have others focus on their abilities as athletes and students. Give me a break. The creators and women who participitated in the calendar should be applauded. YOU as an editorial board are attempting to give a bad name to these women by stating they are a part of a "cheap idea." The only thing cheap, are your efforts to write a decent article. Did you even interview the creators or any of the female students? "Offensive to the campus?" I guess the campus was the only party that was asked for input. "Tarnishes the reputation of the business school?" Wow, harsh words for this little start up and the participants. You should offer a generous apology to all those involved. A "campus" and "college" this easily offended and tarnished, shouldn't even be standing by now.

  • If you had seen how hard the students worked on releasing the calendar, your opinion might be changed. Those "quick bucks" that you talk about, required months of preparation, hard work on all the tax and government information, (beacuse the students when about it in all legal ways), hard work in getting the photographer, location, and models (who if you were not informed submitted themselves into the competition). I am sorry but this is an extremely ignorant article, if you knew or had talked to the producers of the calendar your idea might be persuaded. Do not forget that Bauer is well known for its entrepeneurship program, and this calendar is a great example of how students can take their class room teachings into the real world. Saying that the girls were exploded is an extremely harsh condemnation, which is very far from reality since they were the ones who submitted their pictures in the competition and the girls might be able to receive part of the profit.

  • And by the way, your comment about how they "only donate 10%" is as ignorant as most of the rest of the article. Have you heard of any corporation that donates 10% of their revenue? Did you do a research about that before writting this article? I thought good journalism showed the two sides of the story, so where is your interview to the two students? where is your interview to the girls? Did they tell you they were forced into hard labor, is that how you assume they were exploited? Because they alll seemed very happy to be part of this calendar, they all sounded excited to appear on tv. FYI I am an advocate of women's rights and women's independence. In no way this is hurting either or.

  • Let's just say that there is definitely some truth to this article. While most of you are harking on women's rights and the problem of objectifying women (and rightfully so), there's a more irritating issue that seems to bother a larger group of students. We are sick of being harassed on our walks to class/our cars (or even my personal walk to grab coffee) to buy a calendar filled with half-naked and provocatively posed female students. No, I do not want to buy your shitty calendar and I do not think that "the cool thing" about your calendar is that all of the females are students attending UH (a sales pitch used to convince a skeptical buyer to purchase a calendar). I think it's really funny that in the "interview" aired by channel 11 on the creators of this business, the reporter asked one of the girls (who proudly pointed out her picture to him) if HER MOM KNEW ABOUT IT. Am I the only one that heard this??? The fact that the reporter's initial reaction was to ask how a parent would react is a testament to the provocative and undignified nature of this bullcrap. I can't imagine why any normal parent would be proud that their daughter got to pose in a short/skimpy dress/bikini/etc. for a calendar. Quit offending the more conservative students on this campus and try selling your "charitable" crap to a place more welcoming of its nature. Finally, the girls "featured" in the calendar need to get off their high horse about it–you won because you advertised a link on your facebook to your 2,000+ friends to click it and "vote" for you. There was little to no judgment involved. It's basically a contest between how many moms, dads, family members, and friends (random people you add on fb too) want to actually listen to your plead to vote for you.

  • I'm a woman, and I think if the women in the pictures want to be in them, let them. But to be fair and equal and all that jazz, can we not have a MAN CALENDAR?! Yes, that's right. Let's make one with hot men in speedos.
    You think I'm joking. Bring it on.

    If it is basically a calendar for showing scantily clad women, then it should be OK to have one
    OF men FOR women. Lol.

    • Dude, I see so many hot guys at the gym. While personally not a fan of speedos, I would totally buy a "Hottest Men of UH" calendar. Someone get on that stat.

  • Haha, this whole objectification and exploitation of women thing is pretty typical. Women have been criticized by everyone, even other women, since…well, forever. Because they are women, they have been seen as intellectually inferior, lacking leadership skills, and incapable and doing things for themselves. It comes off as no surprise to me that when these women volunteered to have their own images portrayed in a way that they chose, they were anonymously chastised for expressing themselves in a fashion they enjoy, for a cause that they support, in an effort they funded by their own organization. Women dominate the worlds of fashion and sex appeal so it's no surprise that when they gained control and influence in the industry they are criticized for it. Is looking provocative illegal? Is wearing a bikini immoral? And more importantly, did this calendar encourage the taking of someone else's rights away? This editorial condemns the actions of the people involved with the calendar, which is implicitly encourages for less forms of expression; this article implies that people should NOT put out calendars full of scantily clad women for the sake of preserving the university's Tier One status. Well, here are some of my crazy and wild ideas for upholding our Tier One status:

    1. Keep an open mind.
    2. Let people express themselves.
    3. If you don't want to dress in sexy outfits and have pictures of yourself taken and published in a calendar, don't do it.
    4. If you don't want to own a calendar full of pictures of women in sexy outfits, don't buy one.
    5. If you don't want your own inalienable rights taken away, don't criticize and encourage the rights of someone else to be taken away.

    This was all written by a dude that is not involved with the calendar, is not interested in the calendar, and will not buy the calendar, if you were wondering.

  • yes it was a cheap unoriginal idea. i doubt it tarnished any reputations though. i think we need a calendar that reflects our diversity. have some gay guys kissing, some freethinkers, nudists, zoophiles, multiracial people, mentally handicapped, poor people, etc – put them all together on a calendar. that would be real diversity.

    make a calendar of the various employees of UH at home – janitors in their shanties, khator in her mega mansion, adjuncts in their apts, etc.
    that would have been much more interesting

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