University of California, San Diego, officials are defending a final exam that requires students to strip down and perform in the buff after a student’s mother complained to local media.
The mother, who did not wish to be identified, told 10News that Associate Professor Ricardo Dominguez forced her daughter to take off her clothes in order to pass the class, titled “Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self.”
“There’s a perversion going on here,” the concerned mom said. “The fact he is a professor and has control over these students, I think he’s taking it way too far.”
She added: “To blanket say you must be naked in order to pass my class It makes me sick to my stomach.”
Dominguez, who has never received a complaint in the 11 years he’s taught the class, confirmed to 10News that nudity is important in the final.
“If [students] are uncomfortable with this gesture they should not take the class,” he said, adding that students could also get “figuratively” naked.
Jordan Crandall, chairman of UCSD’s Visual Arts Department, came to the professor’s defense on Monday, saying that the assignment is clearly laid out from the beginning of the course.
“Students are aware from the start of the class that it is a requirement, and that they can do the gesture in any number of ways without actually having to remove their clothes,” Crandall said in a statement.
“There are many ways to perform nudity or nakedness, summoning art history conventions of the nude or laying bare of one’s ‘traumatic’ or most fragile and vulnerable self. One can ‘be’ nude while being covered.”
Students in the class said there’s nothing sexual about it. “Everyone’s going to be naked,” art major Ricardo Ales told 10News. “She’s not being singled out, she’s not being abused.”
“She could take another class if she really didn’t want to get naked,” added student Kim Garcia.