(KMTR) - Some students say The Torch's article about the controversial dating site 'Seeking Arrangement' promotes prostitution.
The article, which was published in the latest issue of The Torch on February 6, focuses on the controversial dating website called 'Seeking Arrangement. The site connects young attractive singles with wealthy benefactors who pay for their companionship. Seeking Arrangement calls these "mutually-beneficial relationships". It refers to the young singles, who are usually women, as "Sugar Babies" and the wealthy benefactors, usually rich, older men, as "Sugar Daddies".
The site was created in 2005 and has more than 1.7 million users worldwide. The Torch article claims many students living in Lane County are signed up as Sugar Babies and use the money they earn to pay for college. The subtitle of the article reads “Website opens up new earning possibilities for students".
Though some people consider the site a platform for prostitution, The Torch stands by the article.
“We certainly didn't mean to endorse prostitution. That wasn't the intent. Again, we also don't judge anyone using Seeking Arrangement,” says The Torch’s Co-Managing Editor, Sean Hanson. “We tried to remain as objective as possible.”
Lane Community College administration says by law they can't regulate what The Torch prints.
"Well, naturally we have our opinions, but it's their newspaper,” says Andrea Newton, Executive Dean of Academic Affairs. “They have freedom of the press just like any other newspaper would have, so it is the views of the students.”
LCC students have mixed opinions about the article and the dating site. Travis Moore says he doesn’t judge his classmates who may be using the site to pay for school. He’s also not angry at The Torch for writing about the site.
“Whether [The Torch’s staff] are for it or against it, or whatever, I see it really as irrelevant. I see it more as they at least having the platform for it, at least a platform for discussion,” says Moore.
Another LCC student, Barry Sommer, is not happy with The Torch’s article.
"I honestly couldn't believe that I was reading an article that I believed was promoting prostitution,” says Sommer. “I was kind of expecting to see a statement like, ‘We don't condone this. We don't support this, but this is something that some students do',” he says.
Sommer is currently trying to organize a forum about the issue with school administration, students and representatives from LCC Womens' Center. He would like to see a retraction of the article, saying The Torch should have talked to a women's support group about the negative affects of prostitution.
Lane administration doesn't plan on holding any official forums about the issue. They say if people have a problem with the article, they can write a letter to The Torch's editor, just like they would for any other newspaper.