Friday, June 5, 2009

Jamaican Dance Craze Results in Large Grant to Canadian University

Univ. of British Columbia Receives $1.7M Gift for Study of Sexuality

The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, announced today that it has received an anonymous gift of $1.7 million (U.S. $1.5 million) to create Canada's largest endowment for the study of human sexuality. The gift was made in the name of Jane Vance Rule, a Canadian author and former UBC educator. Openly lesbian, Rule is perhaps best known for her 1964 novel Desert of the Heart about two women who fall in love. The novel was later made into the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed film Desert Hearts in 1985. After publication of the novel, the Canadian press became fascinated by Rule and her sexuality. She wrote, "I became, for the media, the only lesbian in Canada. A role I gradually and very reluctantly accepted and used to educate people as I could." She is credited with being a major contributor both to the decriminalization of homosexuality and to advancing Canadian literature onto the world stage. “Jane Rule played an immense role in shaping dialogue in Canada and internationally around gay rights and the celebration of differences,” says Nancy Gallini, Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Arts. “This generous gift will build on her legacy and support the most vibrant and emerging interdisciplinary scholarship in the field.” The Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships will support programs related to the study of sexual orientation, race, and gender, and it will also provide support to LGBT student groups.

The grant also will be used to study the recent practice of "daggering," a dance craze in Jamaica that is breaking the penises of hundreds of male participants and rupturing the vaginas of scores of women. "It is truly astonishing what humans will do in connection with their sexuality," said a female spokeswoman, who refused to give her name because she was afraid her boyfriend might try to stab her when she wasn't expecting it. "We have some pretty rough sex already, and I'm afraid I might get torn up," she commented.

The university is expecting a doubling of enrollment when word of the grant gets out, according to a janitor, who empties wastebaskets in the President's suite. He read a confidential memo discarded by the President discussing the implications of so many new students in such a short period of time and the possibility for much more open sexual displays on campus, which he looked forward to.

The janitor, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, acknowledged this might be difficult to maintain because he is the only janitor entrusted with cleaning the President's office, due to the confidential nature of many of the things that take place there. "I'll probably get canned when they read this but I'm very close to retirement and it won't affect my pension. This is the closest I'll ever come to my 15 minutes of fame so I thought I better grab it," he said.

In light of this statement and the near certainty that he will be identified anyway, we decided to violate his confidence and publish his name. It will save the President some time, too. It is Jack Straw.

In other news today.......oh, wait, that's the next story. Sorry.

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