The End of Penn State’s Sex Column

Pennsylvania State University’s student newspaper, the Daily Collegian, ran a sex column called “Mounting Nittany” on Thursdays. Written by Penn State junior Kristina Helfer, a typical story had a title like “ Let’s Talk Sex, Hugs And Handjobs.”

Maybe it’s not such a good idea talk about that for a little while. Jim Romenesko reports that, in the aftermath of the sexual abuse scandal at the school, the newspaper’s going to hold off on publishing the irreverent sex column.

According to Romenesko, Helfer’s column has “been MIA for several weeks now. The last “Mounting” was published Nov. 3; Jerry Sandusky was arrested Nov. 5. Helfer didn’t respond to my email, so I called the Collegian newsroom.”

The paper’s editor responded that:

We offered Kristina Helfer the opportunity to write a sex column on the scandal or sexual assault, but she decided that based on the tone of the previous columns that it would not be “respectful to those who have been affected by sexual assault” to write the column that week. Instead, we ran another columnist’s piece on the importance of not being a passive bystander.

Looking forward, based on the current situation and mood at Penn State, we have decided to remove the column for the time being.

Let that be an early indication of how things are changing at Penn State. Soon it should become clear if there are any more structural modifications coming for the university.

Until then, no mounting. Or at least no talking about it.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer