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Skin Deep Finally Wins Funding

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Despite concerns about legal issues, the CSA Senate agreed Feb. 9 to fund Carleton’s new nude magazine Skin Deep.

Legal concerns focused on the possibility of a third party scanning or photographing the images and posting them online after the magazine is published, according to CSA Senator Luke Hellwig ’15. This is grounds on which models could justifiably sue the College. Carleton’s lawyer advised the College to divorce itself from Skin Deep to avoid a lawsuit. Although the CSA will proceed with funding the magazine, the College has declared itself unaffiliated.

In a letter to the staff of Skin Deep, the Carleton administration stated, “Carleton College’s decision to permit Skin Deep to circulate its publications among the student body on college property shall not be viewed as an endorsement of the speech or activities of Skin Deep and/or its staff. Carleton College shall have no responsibility for any content published by Skin Deep.”

CSA Vice President Marielle Foster ‘16 said, “We felt that the legal issues were being responsibly handled. Skin Deep provided a great timeline as well and has done a wonderful job keeping us in the loop.”

Skin Deep editors were also advised to rewrite their waiver forms to include further protection, which they have done, according to Hellwig. They will now have to reach out to the models again in order to have them sign the new waivers.

“I’ve been very impressed with the way Skin Deep handled this, and I feel very confident funding them,” CSA president Becca Giles said.

Initially, discussions of nudity in Skin Deep led to concern about the legal ramifications of nudity in other campus publications.

Based on CSA discussions about Skin Deep, on Jan. 28, Foster sent an email to editors of campus publications asking them to refrain from publishing nudity until the CSA had a better idea of how to proceed with Skin Deep and with publishing nudity in general.

Because Carleton’s lawyer determined that Skin Deep can publish, nudity in campus publications is no longer a legal concern for the College.

However, Hellwig, who is an editor of The Carl, said “Magazines like the Carl and the CLAP have published nudity before in the past. And neither publication has been as rigorous as Skin Deep. And so it’s possible that in the future, these publications may be expected to change their practices.

“Personally, I think that nude photography is an important campus tradition that celebrates the human body and subverts sexist societal norms.” Hellwig continues. “And so I think it’s important that CSA and SAO continue to support the publishing of nude photography in campus publications.”

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