Daily Egyptian

No, we do not condone prostitution

By DE Staff

Regarding a Daily Egyptian article titled “Student debt can be paid by wealthy ‘sugar daddies’,” which ran front page on Jan. 23, we would like to clear the air.

While we wish the story could have had more sources, we do not regret the objectivity of the piece.

Efforts to contact administration regarding the issue resulted in “no comments” from the Women’s Resource Center, and the Director of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

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It is unfortunate these sources would not talk to us, given the important women’s issues inherent in the story.

We simply reported the facts that had been gathered, despite how disturbing they may have been perceived.

It is not our job as a news outlet to determine the moral or ethical legitimacy of a business, however it is our job to inform readers that such a business exists and is targeting our demographic.

The Daily Egyptian did not propose enrollment to SeekingArrangement.com as a solution.

Rather, we wished to bring to light the lengths to which people are going to offset the skyrocketing cost of college.

According to collegedata.com, the average annual cost of tuition and fees for 2013-2014—not including housing, meals or supplies—was $8,893 for in-state residents, $22,203 for out-of-state and $30, 094 for private universities.

The in-state tuition for an undergraduate at SIU is $8,169 per year. This means if an Illinois resident attends SIU for four years starting in 2012, his or her cost of college will be at least $32,676. (Again, not including housing and other expenses.)

Students resorting to being “sugar babies” in order to offset this expense is undoubtedly newsworthy.

We question how the company was able to access not only student email accounts, but successfully target female students.

As stated in the article, students received promotional emails from the website on Jan. 13, and 31 students had signed up for the website using their SIU email accounts in the past year.

Since switching from Gmail to Outlook, students have also received emails from datemyschool.com and clusterflunk.com.

The Daily Egyptian intends to look into what privacy policies the university has regarding such circumstances.

Does the administration feel a need to protect students from these types of emails?

Are student email addresses seen as university property?

Above all, what does the administration intend to do to better protect the security of our students’ emails from companies like this in the future?

It is our duty as the campus newspaper to report on any and all issues pertaining to the university, regardless of how controversial certain issues may be.

SeekingArrangements.com is just one website being put under our microscope. It is not the first and will not be the last.

As always, we welcome your opinion on this issue, and encourage our readers to send their feedback to [email protected] or [email protected]

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