UVUSA VP accused of sexism

UVUSA VP accused of sexism

In light of the tweets sent out by UVUSA VP Joe Jursic, students are questioning whether he should still be in office.

Outrage recently erupted over tweets from a member of the Executive Council of UVUSA, which many found sexist and offensive. Many are asking if this is an appropriate way for a representative to behave, especially when he represents a campus that is 43 percent female.

 

Joe Jursic, current vice president of Student Life, tweeted things like, “Don’t tease fat girls, elephants never forget” and “You stupid hoe, you a you stupid hoe.”

 

Professor Shannon Mussett, the Gender Studies coordinator currently teaching a feminism class, found the tweets offensive.

 

“It is certainly disappointing that a representative of student government feels that it is acceptable to post degrading and hurtful messages about women in a public forum,” Mussett said.

 

Mussett, however, doesn’t believe Jursic should be reprimanded in his role in UVUSA. She does believe students should make a public display of solidarity against his actions.

 

“What we do outside of our offices is really our own business–no matter how offensive it may be,” Mussett said. “But this does not mean he shouldn’t receive a social reprimand which, in many ways, is more damning than a university censure.  Since he employed a public voice of criticism, one can and should be used against him.”

 

Susan Madsen, director of the Utah Women and Education Project, also expressed disapproval of the tweets.

 

“It’s inappropriate in every way,” Madsen said. “Civil human beings do not say these things. You just can’t say those things particularly if you are in a leadership position or supervisory position.”

 

Unlike Mussett, Madsen felt there should be repercussions.

 

“I think this guy shouldn’t be in leadership at UVU, bottom line,” Madsen said.

 

Other students have expressed their disapproval of the tweets, including members of the Revolutionary Student Union who have been raising awareness about social issues.

 

Jacob Hyden and Ikaika Cox, juniors and members of the RSU, were deeply offended by Jursic’s tweets and were upset that Jursic tweeted the comments while being in office.

 

“I’m just disgusted that a person in today’s society can make such comments and not be amazingly unpopular or hated let alone that that person could be a vice president of the student body or an elected official at an university of any kind,” Hyden said.

 

Jessica Burnham, a senior, an activist and feminist who has worked with women’s rights organizations in the past, and is also an RSU member, expressed concern over the effect Jursic’s behavior might have on the rest of the campus.

 

“I’m afraid that he is representing the male view towards women on this campus,” Burnham said.

 

Burnham was especially concerned considering Jursic was made Elections Committee Chair this past election.

 

“The fact that he’s the one holding people accountable and he’s so blatantly sexist, when he is the one who is essentially bringing in the next reign of UVUSA elected students into power is scary,” Burnham said.

 

Burnham felt there should be some sort of action taken against Jursic.

 

“I want to take these tweets and his photo, and make large banners with his face on it and with these phrases and hang them up everywhere around this campus,” Burnham said “And sit outside his office holding these signs and tell him ‘You’re saying this about me.’”

 

Jursic stated that the tweets were song lyrics, and he did not find them sexist.

 

“These are all song lyrics,” Jursic said. “Do I find them sexist? Not at all. It just happen to be the song I was listening to.”

 

The song lyrics came from artists such as Ani DiFranco and Nicki Minaj.

 

“When I’m up at the Capitol, I would never dare say these things. It’s a song that I’m listening to at the time. The song just happens to say these lyrics. I don’t understand what’s wrong with that,” Jursic said.

 

Jursic also denied any wrong doing, stating, “They are offensive to you because you find them offensive,” Jursic said. “If you find that offensive, that’s your personal choice.”

 

Jursic later back stepped his previous statement, explaining that perhaps his tweets were inappropriate but would not go as far as to say they were sexist.

 

“Do I find that this is inappropriate? In a sense, yes I do. I do find it inappropriate,” Jursic said. “Do I find it sexist? No.”

 

Jursic went on to explain that if people found his tweets to be sexist or offensive, it was because the tweets were being blown out of proportion.

 

“I agree that people who are over thinking this may find this sexist,” Jursic said. “But that’s personal choice. That’s them analyzing this way too much.”

 

While Jursic remained adamant that his tweets were not sexist, he did claim he was willing to apologize if anyone was offended by the tweets.

Joe Jursic sent a Letter to the Editor addressing the accusations, which can be read here

By Kelly Cannon

Life Section Editor

11 Responses to "UVUSA VP accused of sexism"

  1. Gonzo   March 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Unfortunately with this act he has lost the faith of the student body and should step down. A position of authority comes with responsibility. Despite his lame defense he doesn’t represent what the students want.

    Reply
  2. jeffrey Root   March 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Is this guy in our college student body or the bully in a jr. high school play ground? Get him out of office.

    Reply
  3. Ira   March 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I hate the “if you are objectified, it’s because you are objectifying yourself” defense. I see no difference between that and the “if you are offended, it’s because you are choosing to be” defense. Next he will be arguing that if you get assaulted, it’s your fault for choosing to be assaulted. Sure, it’s not your fault your nose is broken, but it’s your choice whether or not it hurts.

    Reply
  4. Shelcy Carpenter   March 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    This is seriously pathetic! I know Joe on a personal level and he would never say these things just to say them! They are song lyrics of some of today’s hit artists! I am a woman and I am larger in body size! Joe has been nothing but kind a decent to everyone. You people need to bak of it!

    Reply
  5. Na'Shaya Gilliam   March 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I am a woman, and I am a close of Joe Jurisic. He is one of the most kind people that you will ever meet. He is fun and a ball of life and laughter and I know without a doubt that that these tweets were meant to be funny, and I personally laughed when I saw them because that was the purpose of the tweets. Joe is an entertainer, and is always bringing smiles to those around him. Joe was even so kind as to recognize all of the women in his life, friends, coworkers, ect. on National Women’s Day. Does that sound like something a sexist would do? I’m pretty sure most sexist people wouldn’t. But Joe Jurisic would and he did.

    Reply
  6. Travis Leavitt   March 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Wow… Now the Review is poaching material off of the Revolutionary Student Union? Very original and even more newsworthy… gag. That was sarcasm in case you didn’t catch that. Enough with the miserable attempts to discredit UVUSA.

    Reply
    • Branden   March 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      What do you mean? They aren’t “poaching” anything. The UVU Review is a newspaper… they report the news. This article isn’t meant to be an original piece of information, or a UVU Review exclusive.

      The UVU Review doesn’t have a vendetta against the UVUSA, nor are they trying to discredit them. But the Review does have a responsibility to report on the high profile events that are happening at the school.

      Why don’t people comment on the positive stories that the Review does about the UVUSA? They frequently report on UVUSA events, and just recently reported on the election results with no negativity or attempts to discredit the system.

      Reply
    • Travis Leavitt   March 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      I’m not defending UVUSA. I just feel the UVU Review isn’t so independent as it wants the students to believe and this article isn’t particularly newsworthy nor well done. And your comments haven’t provoked any thought of mine besides that you are offended by Joe’s tweets which could have been accomplished by a one sentence post rather than wasting all of your spring break on the UVU review website.

      Reply
  7. jessica   March 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I have met joe a few times and I don’t he is a bad person, but I also agree these are not appropriate things to say. Even if they are song lyrics. With him tweeting them it shows us that he thinks they are funny… using derogatory language towards women shouldn’t be funny and shouldn’t be accepted in school settings and while his twitter account isn’t a school setting, he represents the school.

    Reply
  8. Tori   March 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    They may have been offensive to some and he probably shouldn’t have posted those but this article is extremely biased. A FEMALE writer wrote and ONLY interviewed women and Jursic. If you want to make a compelling argument, get more opinions. Seriously though, who gives a ****?

    Reply
    • Jess   March 20, 2012 at 10:10 am

      You should try reading the article. The author interview both women and men, and most men I know who are intelligent are also deeply offended by the tweets, as they perpetuate ignorance and misogyny. Did you skip over this part in the article?

      Jacob Hyden and Ikaika Cox, juniors and members of the RSU, were deeply offended by Jursic’s tweets and were upset that Jursic tweeted the comments while being in office.

      “I’m just disgusted that a person in today’s society can make such comments and not be amazingly unpopular or hated let alone that that person could be a vice president of the student body or an elected official at an university of any kind,” Hyden said.

      Reply

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