Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Editorial: Sexy scholarship money

Pornhub. One sees that name, and his or her first thought is probably not “higher education.”

Though society has begun shifting perspectives on pornography and those who star in it by praising women for owning their sexuality, it is still largely associated with misogyny, overexposure, indecency and so on and so forth.

So imagine the surprise of many when, in early September, the company announced the launch of its new philanthropic branch, Pornhub Cares, and an offer of a $25,000 college scholarship for one lucky student who best answers the question, “How do you strive to make others happy?”

As reported by staff writer Marissa Russo in this week’s article “Pornhub provides opportunity,” any full­-time student over the age of 18 with a GPA of at least 3.2 is eligible to win the scholarship so long as they submit an essay between 1,000 and 1,500 words and a two-­ through five-­ minute video.

While Pornhub Vice President Corey Price said in an interview with the Washington Post that sex videos will not be seriously considered, nudity is not a disqualifying factor.

It may be easy for some to write off Pornhub and its offer. After all, this is one of the world’s largest pornographic outlets. The first video on its page as of press time is titled “No rest for big breasts.” You wouldn’t be caught dead taking money from that site, right?

It may not be that cut and dry, though.

For instance, when one takes into consideration that, according to dosomething.org, an organization that aims to engage young people and motivate them toward social change, the average student loan debt for the class of 2011 was $26,600, throwing your hat into the ring may not sound so bad after all.

Two­-in­-5 student loan borrowers fail to make a loan payment at some point in the first five years of entering repayment, dosomething.org reports. Not being one of those students would be refreshing.

However, deciding whether to enter the scholarship contest is simply a matter of opinion and personal stance. Cardinal Points can’t and won’t tell you how or what to think.

If you are strongly against pornography and can’t stand to think of affiliating with Pornhub, then don’t. There are plenty of other ways to find financial support, such as federal aid and local scholarships. Otherwise, Pornhub’s contest requirements aren’t that tough to fulfill, and it’s a chance to win a large sum of money to ease a large burden.

We believe Plattsburgh State Associate Director of Financial Aid Kerry Lubold really puts it best: “’If I am offered a scholarship by say, the National Rifle Association, does this mean I am pro­gun? Or does that just mean I am a strongly qualified student who is focused on academics?’”

The verdict, fellow PSUC students, is yours to make.

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