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Anonymous Essay Stirs Controversy on Orthodox Jewish Campus

An anonymous essay about premarital sex has some college students in Manhattan in an uproar. Typically, the topic of premarital sex is so prevalent on college campuses that this may seem a little unusual. But for students at Yeshiva University, an Orthodox Jewish institution, this essay about one student’s first sexual encounter is tantamount to a sin.
 
Yeshiva University teaches both Jewish and Secular subjects. While a large amount of enrolled students are Orthodox Jews- who believe that even talking openly about premarital sex is unacceptable- not all are as stringently tied to those beliefs.
 
The essay, How Do I Even Begin To Explain This, was written by an Orthodox woman and published in the YU Beacon.
 
The published piece resulted in a weeklong controversy on campus, as conservative students pushed to have the piece removed. The tension culminated in the resignation of two Beacon editors and a proclamation from the publication stating that they would sever official ties to the university.
 
Simi Lampert, the remaining editor-in-chief, stood by the decision to publish the essay. “To all those upset by the article, I apologize,” she wrote. “But I do not regret the decision to post it. This is the reason the Beacon was founded in the first place- to be a platform for every student, not just the majority.”
 
The student council at Yeshiva University reported that the Beacon is no longer recognized as an official club and will no longer receive funding. 

Lauryn is a senior at Northeastern University majoring in journalism. She has written for Boston.com as well as the HC branch at Northeastern. Lauryn is also a teaching assistant for International Affairs students at Northeastern. In May and June of 2011, she embarked on a reporting trip to the Middle East, where she mastered the art of "man on the street" reporting and gained a new appreciation for falafel. In her spare time, Lauryn enjoys writing, walking around Boston aimlessly, traveling and a unhealthy obsession with her Kindle. She loves eating, French bulldogs and Anderson Cooper. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in foreign correspondence or magazine journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @laurynpaiva.
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