GERMANY: Students At University of Augsburg Call For “Gloryholes” To Be Installed In Lecture Halls, Cite Benefit To Queer Community

A group of students at the University of Augsburg in Germany have called for “gloryholes” to be installed in lecture halls in order to contribute to the “diversification” of the campus. Gloryholes are holes in walls or partitions created with the intention of allowing people to engage in anonymous sex acts in public.

According to the Presse-Augsburg, the student body at the University of Augsburg has an information board which allows students to make requests related to facilities, resources, or other school or campus-related needs. During student body meetings, applications are submitted, and top requests are then signaled to administration or faculty via the board.

An application for three gloryholes to be installed in a lecture hall was submitted by a group of students, reading: “Three gloryholes are to be in the lecture hall center opposite the entrance … These should be built by the Department of Space and Construction and maintained by building management.”

It continues with a list of specifications for the installation.

“[The gloryholes] should be soundproof and opaque. They should be designed to be as barrier-free as possible, the height should be adjustable, [and] there should be wall handles that can be held on to. The lights should be dimmable and a possible knee padding should be installed. In addition, condoms, dental dams, lubricants, and disinfectants should be provided free of charge in the gloryholes. Trash cans are also needed.”

The students are claiming that the gloryholes would reduce stress, “contribute to diversification,” and “unleash potential for improved participation in the university life of queer students.” It adds that “kink” could be performed at the university, and claims access to sexual activity could act a potential stress-reducer for students.

“Sex can be a relaxing activity, which can be very useful in the often exhausting everyday university life. The associated stress reduction would ensure a more positive working atmosphere on campus.”

The application argues that the installation of gloryholes would also help “queer students” feel safer at university as “gloryholes” are a “non-heteronormative” practice.

“The construction of the gloryholes allows the University to understand itself as a heteronormativity-critical space, since kink is to be understood as a non-heteronormative practice,” the application reads. “This clear queer positioning would unleash potential for improved participation in the university life of queer students and thus increase their everyday life, the sense of security and the well-being of those same.”

The proposal for the gloryholes quickly became the top request added to the student information board.

On October 23, an email was sent out to the student body revealing that the gloryhole request would be voted on at the Student Convention, prompting outrage amongst the student body.

A religious student group, The Ring of Christian Democratic Students (RCDS Augsburg), published an open letter addressed to the President of the University in opposition to the application, calling it “inappropriate” and “highly scandalous.”

Addressed to Dr. Sabine Doering-Manteuffel, the head of the University, and the student body at large, the letter reads: “With reference to the public e-mail of the Student Convention, we take a position as a Freedom-Democratic List and firmly reject the establishment of gloryholes at the University of Augsburg.”

RCDS Augsburg continues: “Such an idea not only contradicts the principles of educational institutions, but also constitutes a serious violation of ethical and moral standards. Gloryholes are places of anonymous sexual contacts, which are usually found in erotic shops or similar establishments. Their installation at a university, a place that should promote education, research and personal development, would be absurd and irresponsible. It is hard to imagine how such an idea could be considered at all.”

While the resolution was ultimately rejected during a student body convention today, the fact that such a proposal had made its way through the proposals process left many in disbelief.

After journalist Anabel Schunke called attention to the request, German social media erupted with commentary and condemnation for the University.

“The ideological filth at some German universities is consistently followed by the bacteria-laden filth in the associated toilets. The good news: [Ausburg Student Association] has never represented the majority student opinion. So there is hope,” one user responded.

“Sex is a private matter, not a study purpose! It also sounds more like a brothel than a lecture hall. Another sign of the decline of our western society. I no longer ask myself why it takes an infinite number of semesters to complete a normal course of study these days,” another said.


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Shay Woulahan

Shay is a writer and social media content creator for Reduxx. She is a proud lesbian activist and feminist who lives in Northern Ireland with her partner and their four-legged, fluffy friends.

Shay Woulahan
Shay Woulahan
Shay is a writer and social media content creator for Reduxx. She is a proud lesbian activist and feminist who lives in Northern Ireland with her partner and their four-legged, fluffy friends.
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