5:19pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Politics

Senate Leaders Threaten UT Funding Over Sex Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican leaders in the state Senate are warning that new funding for the University of Tennessee could be threatened over the use of student fees for a weeklong program about sex.

Senate Education Chairwoman Dolores Gresham of Somerville and Government Operations Chairman Mike Bell of Riceville in a letter to university leaders Wednesday call the use of fees for the student-run Sex Week an "abuse" of funds.

UT President Joe DiPietro said the school's attorneys advise that the student event is covered by the First Amendment and that there's no indication that the events should be classified as obscene. He said discussions with lawmakers are ongoing.

The Senate letter follows a 69-17 vote in the House last month to condemn the student organizers of the event.