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Assistant Professor Takes on Sex and the University

Published: October 01, 2010
Daniel Reimold said he’s read more college sex columns than anyone on Earth – and all with his grandmother’s blessing.

That’s because The University of Tampa assistant professor of journalism, and former Fulbright research fellow, was doing scholarly research for his book, Sex and the University: Celebrity, Controversy, and a Student Journalism Revolution .

“Sex is the topic, but the real spark is student press related,” said Reimold. “I’m extremely passionate about college media so student journalism is the impetus behind writing this book.”

Published in September by Rutgers University Press, Sex and the University has been reviewed in a number of publications including the Wall Street Journal . It traces the direct inspiration of student sex columnists to a certain Manolo Blahnik-wearing writer in New York City – character Carrie Bradshaw in the HBO series “Sex and the City.”

“To the columnists, especially at the beginning of the phenomenon, the show is not just a television program. It truly is a lifestyle,” Reimold said. “It’s a phenomenon unlike any other. The young women especially and a few young men wanted to be their campus’s Carrie Bradshaw.”

For most outsiders, Reimold said this leads to the biggest misconception about who these student writers are and what these columns are about.

“Many place these students akin to the Samantha Jones, sex-crazed character versus just what they really are, which is the every man, every woman, every student, Carrie Bradshaw-type character just looking to find love and a little bit of lust through their four years,” Reimold said.

“It is hard to dispute the notion that the columnists, putting it into print for all to see, in some way normalize the behavior, but they’re not inventing, they’re not fabricating and in many cases, they’re not really even leading the way,” he said. “They’re truly writing about what’s happening already on campuses. I’d say they’re really more documenters than trendsetters.”

Reimold fell in love with journalism as an undergrad while working on his student newspaper at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. He said he was pulled by the impact he could make as a journalist and found the area worth studying. With this book, he hopes people move beyond the topic and become intrigued with his same passion, that of student journalism.

“I knew the sex topic would turn some heads and maybe even lead to some misperceptions about the reason for my interest in the book,” said Reimold. “But I’m very happy that maybe that general topic area and people’s interest in it leads more people to become curious about student journalism and learn a little about that in the process.”

Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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