Mom Is Outraged By UCSD's Naked Final
An art professor at UC San Diego requires his students to be nude—literally or figuratively—to pass their final.
The class garnered attention when an outraged mother told 10News San Diego that Professor Ricardo Dominguez was demanding her daughter be naked for her final or fail "Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self." The mother, who chose to remain anonymous, called the requirement a perversion. "The fact he is a professor and has control over these students, I think he's taking it way too far," she said.
Jordan Crandall, UCSD's Visual Arts Department chairman, has countered the mother's claim. In a statement released yesterday, Crandall said that not only is the class not a required course, it's also not one that requires actual nakedness to do well. He explained that students are required to give a number of short 'gestures' or performances, however, the 'nude/naked self' gesture doesn't have to be taken literally.
"There are many ways to perform nudity or nakedness, summoning art history conventions of the nude or laying bare of one's 'traumatic' or most fragile and vulnerable self," Crandall said.
Dominguez said this is the first complaint he's received about the assignment in his 11 years teaching the class, and that he makes students aware of the performance from day one. If students do choose to get naked, it's in a dark room, lit only with candles. In addition to all the naked students, the professor also strips down on that day. Other students have defended the class, saying that the nude final is a known part of the class, not a surprise, and that there's nothing sexual about it.
Even the chair of UCSD's College Republicans, Amanda Fitzmorris, took the opportunity to weigh in and bring it around to taxpayer dollars. She told Fox news that in the past 11 years, only one student has elected to be "emotionally" naked over actually naked. She also said that since the university is publicly funded, the "taxpayer should have a say of some sort over this kind of adult-themed course."