Should SU Have Banned the Kiss Cam in the Carrier Dome?


kiss cam-01Design by Brittany Isdith

If you’ve been to a football game in the Carrier Dome recently, you’ll have noticed that something is missing. And no, I’m not talking about crushing defeat… yet. ACC, what’s good?

That's right, I'm talking about the kiss cam.

Recently, the kiss cam has indefinitely been suspended from school grounds. The decision has been the talk of the campus in the past few weeks while the Student Association has debated whether or not it should stay part of the Carrier Dome's tradition.

In all honesty, I've always loved the kiss cam. Whether it’s two strangers who awkwardly lean in for a peck or an accidental brother and sister combo who furiously shake their heads, that shit is entertaining as fuck. And on the rare occasion you get to watch a live proposal, who cares if you’re tragically single? Love is real in that moment.

So yes, I’ve always been pro kiss cam. But like anything in life, it’s all fun and games until someone writes a strongly worded letter to the local newspaper. I read the letter about a week after it was posted, and I have to say… I was torn. I’m sure you’ve heard the disgusting statistics. 1 in 4 college women will be the victims of sexual assault during their academic career. As a woman who is currently pursuing a college level education, this is very much a concern of mine, and many of my peers. So when the kiss cam was accused of encouraging sexual assault and male entitlement, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “maybe it does.”

The majority of people caught on the kiss cam are willing to participate... sometimes too much so. But the idea of being forced to kiss some guy in front of thousands of people makes me extremely uncomfortable. Sure, the kiss cam is definitely not what triggers sexual assault on college campuses all of the time. It's arguably just as problematic, if not less than street harassment or cat calling are. Yes, it's annoying, but it's usually harmless. With that said, "no means no" and consent are really important. If people aren’t respecting a person’s right to deny a kiss, how does that message translate when a girl is passed out at a party?

After all, guns don’t kill people. People kill people. The kiss cam doesn’t cause sexual assault, people who unwillingly push themselves onto others do. The root of the problem here is in learned behavior.

The Student Association introduced a proposal to ban the use of the kiss cam in the student section and limit it to people who are likely in a relationship. In my opinion, I think it would also help if cameramen panned away from any two people who were clearly saying no. The kiss cam is fun, and assholes who don’t know how to respect their peers shouldn’t be able to ruin that. But I’m glad that if anything, striking a conversation about important issues like this one came out of the controversy.

I don’t think the kiss cam needs to go, but the numbers of women being sexually assaulted do.

CultureTiffany MoranComment