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PSU Presents Panel Discussion on "The Hook-Up Culture: Why We Don't Date"

“The Hook-Up Culture: Why We Don’t Date” is the subject of a panel discussion sponsored by the Pomona Student Union. Whether a drunken one-night stand or discovering one’s soulmate—or perhaps both—modern college relationships raise questions about available romantic options. This discussion will be held at Pomona College on Tuesday, April 27that 4:15 p.m. in Rose Hills Theater (Smith Campus Center, 170 E. 6th St., Claremont). This event is free and open to the public.

Among college relationships, there is the infamous “walk of shame,” the sometimes awkward lack of recognition the morning after, or the seemingly extinct traditions of courtship and dinner and a movie.  The panel will discuss whether committed relationships are what students are after, or whether hook-ups are part of exploring identity and the essence of the college experience.

The panelists are Pomona College Professor of Politics Susan McWilliams, historian Wilford McClay (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) and cultural sociologist Roger Friedland (University of California, Santa Barbara).

McWilliams’ courses include “American Democracy in Theory and Practice,” “Dangerous Books” and “Politics and Literature.” Her areas of expertise include the history of American and African-American political thought; politics and literature; politics and families; and the politics of travel. Her most recent publications include co-authoring the article "Pluralism and the Education of the Spirit," in Morality and Education (2009), and her essay “Thoreau on Body and Soul,” for A Political Companion to Henry David Thoreau (2008). In 2009, she was awarded Pomona College’s Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching.

McClay has taught at Georgetown University, Tulane University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Dallas. He is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC. McClay co-edited Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America (2003), wrote The Student’s Guide to U.S. History (2000), and The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America (1994), which was awarded the 1995 Merle Curti Award by the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history.

Friedland, professor of religious studies and sociology, explores the intersections between culture, religion and eroticism. He is the author and co-author of many works on religion and sociology, most recently Matters of Culture: Cultural Sociology in Practice (2004) and To Rule Jerusalem (1996), which was chosen as one of the ten best non-fiction books for 1996 by the Los Angeles Times. He is currently teaching a class titled “Sex, Love and God” which examines the problematic nature of love. Friedland’s awards include two Fulbright Professorships, and being named a Getty Scholar and a German Marshall Fellow.

The Pomona Student Union was founded by students in 2003 to inspire open dialogue on campus through a series of challenging and intellectually diverse debates and events.

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Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.