The Syracuse University football team's game against Central Michigan University went on sans kiss cam, after concerns were raised that the often-unwanted smooches were encouraging a culture of sexual assault on campus.
In a letter to the editor of Syracuse.com published last week, writer Steve Port said he saw "horrifying behavior" displayed on the jumbotron that "made me sick to my stomach." Port explained that on two occasions, the camera captured men apparently forcing themselves on women who did not want to kiss:
…. a young man and a young woman were shown. Clearly not a couple, the male student pleaded his case for a kiss on the big screen while the female adamantly shook her head no. So what does this guy do? He grabs her head and shoves his tongue down her throat, the crowd cheers. The next "couple" shown were again students that were clearly not a couple. Again, this second female in question shakes her head no. I then see no less than six sets of hands from the seats around her shove her unwilling face into his, crowd cheers.
He concluded that "the instances I witnessed at the game encourage and condone sexual assault and a sense of male entitlement, at best. And they are an actual instance of assault, at worst."
Following Port's letter, the kiss cam did not make an appearance during Saturday's game. "We are taking the time to assess the concerns expressed in the letter to the editor. We discussed this with POMCO, the sponsor, and they supported that approach," a Syracuse University representative told Syracuse.com.
The editorial board of the university's newspaper, the Daily Orange, said the kiss cam should be brought back, noting "to ban the “Kiss Cam” entirely would be too reactionary by the university." Instead, per the Daily Orange, the issue could be resolved with some kiss cam rules:
To avoid uncomfortable situations in the future, the “Kiss Cam” should never be used on the student section when operators are looking for a couple to feature, as doing so creates chance for risk on multiple levels. The university should also review its policies to ensure these situations do not happen again and should be open to suggestions and feedback from the Syracuse community.
An online poll posted by the Daily Orange suggests this is not a burning issue for many students:
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.