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Porn Actress in Student Run TV Scandal

San Diego- The broadcast of pornography on a student-run television station at UC San Diego may be short-lived.

Just three days after the broadcast of sex between a UCSD senior and an adult actress, student council members debated whether to temporarily ban the “graphic depiction of sexual activity” on the Student-Run Television station.

Student council members voted 12-5 at a special meeting Sunday to do just that, and then declared the vote void yesterday after they discovered they had not followed parliamentary procedures.

Council members are expected to discuss the matter again at their meeting tomorrow night.

It will be the third time this month that council members consider whether and how they should limit sexual material on Student-Run Television.

Three weeks ago, officers voted to postpone indefinitely a proposal to temporarily amend the TV station rules to not allow nudity or graphic sex, essentially rejecting the change.

The controversy stems from a show, “Koala TV,” that has been broadcast on the closed-circuit campus station. On the show, host and producer Steve York, a UCSD senior, engaged in various sexual acts with unidentified women.

Thursday night’s show, which was broadcast in campus dorms and on a campus-affiliated Web site, was the first episode in seven months and the most explicit so far. York, 22, said his show was in support of student rights and free speech.

A female actress posed as a UCSD student struggling to pay for the university’s rising student fees. The actress agreed to go home with York and perform sex, which was shown in great detail for 30 minutes.

Campus reaction to the show appears to be mixed.

Student government leaders and the administration have received more than a dozen calls and e-mails from students and parents, nearly all upset about the show.

Meanwhile, York said he has spoken with dozens of pleased students.

Although the show has raised quite a controversy, administrators have delegated to the students first responsibility to deal with the concerns.

That decision has left student leaders with a dilemma.

They are concerned that the show may have violated federal laws and regulations by broadcasting pornography on the Internet. And yet, many hesitate to limit broadcasting rules because of York’s threats of litigation.

“We don’t see it as a free-speech issue any more,” said Christopher Sweeten, Associated Students president. “We see it as a matter of opening the AS up to legal liability.”

But administrators and others say students should not concern themselves with legal threats. Dan Park, associate campus counsel of UCSD, said that if the Associated Students is sued, the campus would defend it because student governments are administrative units of the university.

While Park could not elaborate on whether the broadcast violated federal laws or campus regulations, he urged students to “focus more on what they think is the right thing for the campus, and less about the legalisms. They were elected to represent the students, not be lawyers.”

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