Not all are chuckling at calendar
By ANNE LINDBERG
Published February 9, 2005
SEMINOLE - A few local politicians and businessmen shed their shirts to fund scholarships at St. Petersburg College, but college officials are not sure whether they'll take the money.
"Given all that's gone on here, I think we need to take this under advisement," college provost Jim Oliver said Monday.
At issue is the Men of Seminole Calendar.
For the most part, it shows men - City Council members, city employees, the city attorney, local businessmen - who appear to be naked. They're hiding their private areas behind desks or steam shovels or signs.
Though a couple apparently bared it all for the photos, many more did not. A close look reveals Spandex shorts or a rolled-up pants leg.
It generally amounts to some bare chests and innuendoes.
The calendar was the brainchild of Seminole dentist Sandra Lilo, who thought it would be a humorous way to make money for the Rotary Club of Seminole Lake. The group eventually decided to give any proceeds to the college, which has a campus in Seminole.
Lilo did not return a phone message Tuesday asking for comment.
Oliver said Lilo called him to discuss the idea. Oliver said he remembers Lilo telling him in a "casual conversation" that the calendar would be "tastefully done." Lilo even asked if Oliver would pose.
Oliver said, "No. There's a lot better looking guys on the Seminole campus than me."
But Oliver okayed the proposal at the time because it did not seem to be a big issue and the production was supposed to be humorous.
"It was never billed as a naked calendar," Oliver said. "It's more done tongue in cheek. . . . It's kind of old guys with their shirts off."
Oliver said he mentioned the calendar to college president Carl Kuttler, although he is not sure whether he mentioned it before or after the calendar was printed.
"I have no recollection of approving the calendar," Kuttler said last week. "I had no discussion of anything involving nudity."
When Kuttler heard about the calendar, he was not amused.
"There's a very serious side to this," Kuttler said. "Feminists are highly offended by skin calendars."
The calendar reminded Kuttler of the pinup calendars that once could be seen in some places of business. If those were hung up today, they could spark a sexual harassment complaint, he said. If the Seminole calendar is displayed in an office or other place of business, that also might be grounds for a complaint of sexual harassment and creation of a hostile work environment, he said.
That's not something he would like the college to be associated with.
Kuttler stopped short of saying the college would turn down any money generated by the calendar. That's Oliver's decision, he said.
Oliver said he has heard nothing negative about the calendar and has not seen it. But he agreed that the college is "sensitive to this kind of thing."
A decision about accepting the money will be made when and if any is offered, he said.
"We obviously want to do the right thing," Oliver said.
[Last modified February 9, 2005, 00:44:18]
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