Sex is not a taboo subject at Yale, home to Sex Week, a biennial celebration that's one of the most provocative campus events in the nation.
But a randy couple's frolic in a shower at one of Yale's undergraduate residential colleges prompted a professor to issue an e-mail of protest, which in turn has sparked debate on the Internet.
With the subject line "Shower Stalls are for Showering," the e-mail begins "OK, well THIS is the most awkward college-wide e-mail I've ever had to send."
Yale officials told The Associated Press on Friday that the e-mail was sent Jan. 30 by Professor Jonathan Holloway, master of Calhoun College, one of 12 residential colleges at the Ivy League university.
About 330 students received the e-mail from Holloway, who runs Calhoun as master. He referred comment to Yale's public affairs department.
His e-mail warns against "intimate activity" in the showers, "especially that kind of activity that leaves the showers in a decidedly less hygienic state.
"Several times since the start of the spring term some Hounies have come across a couple having the time of their lives in a shower stall," the e-mail stated, referring to the nickname for college residents. "Last night, the shower flooded and the bathroom could not be used for over 90 minutes. To the as yet unidentified couple, this may be pleasurable and exciting for you, but it is a violation of community standards. Please stop."
The note, first reported Friday by the New Haven Register, ended with a warning to the frolicking couple: "I really don't want to explore this matter any further, as I respect your individual privacy. But such continued brazen public displays of affection will only invite public embarrassment. I beg of you, let's not go there."
One Calhoun resident made his views clear on another blog, criticalmassblog.com. Dan Gelernter, class of 2009, is co-editor of Critical Mass, aimed at "collegiate conservatives," and called the episode "a new chapter in the story of Yale's continuing descent into the depths of moral degradation."
"It is not merely unfortunate, but pathetic and disgusting that the Master needed to send such a note to us... but in the moral vacuum that has been created by Yale intellectuals, students seem to be left without even the most basic guidelines for proper and decent behavior," Gelernter wrote.