Daily wrong to run Deja Vu ads

Rachel Dunlap - University student and employee

I urge the Minnesota Daily to stop printing the advertisements for the Deja Vu Minneapolis college ID night, the night that anyone with a college ID gets in for free. Deja Vu is a strip club.

I originally phoned the Daily to voice my concern and was told that they hope that the content of the articles in the paper speak louder than the advertisements and that the ad generates much-needed money. I was encouraged to write this letter to the editor since I do not think the ads belong in the Daily.

We need to first consider the real cost of such an ad. What are our standards? Are we willing to run any ad for the right price?

There are a number of things that I could do if all I wanted was more income, but that does not necessarily make them beneficial or ethical. It would be wise at this point to keep in mind some words from the UniversityâÄôs mission statement. It reads:

“In all of its activities, the University strives to sustain an open exchange of ideas in an environment that embodies the values of academic freedom, responsibility, integrity, and cooperation; that provides an atmosphere of mutual respect, free from racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice and
intolerance.”

If this is our goal as students, then we need to reconsider having this ad in our paper. In an exotic dancing venue such as Deja Vu, one displaces the personhood of a woman for just her body, creating space for sexism. Women are seen as just a means to an end, not as whole, valuable people beyond what they look like. If we are not going to draw the line here, what is to stop us from running an ad for a racially intolerant group, if offered the right price?

Racially intolerant groups also ignore the personhood of select people to further their own purposes. We need to think of the real cost of these types of ads: ads that dehumanize people and tear down the atmosphere of learning and understanding that we hope to have here at the University.

What does an exotic dancing venue do that benefits people long term?

Nothing. It only gets us further and further from the true love and respect that characterizes healthy relationships that we need, and further and further from the understanding and learning that our University speaks of in its mission and that we hope to gain from our
classes here.

We must know that if we hope to coexist peacefully on this planet, we must first respect one another and commit to seeing each other not as just a means to our own selfish ends, but as whole and valuable people âÄî people with bodies, yes, but people with minds and hearts and spirits also. People who need each other.