Fury as students told they should get naked to pass exam

'It's just wrong'

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The Independent US

Art students at an American university have been told that they should get naked during an assessment for a class, and one student's mother has complained about the unusual course requirement.

One element of a performance art-based module, which makes up part of the visual arts course at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), requires students to perform three short performances, one of which is about the "nude/naked self".

Students are told that they can perform this piece in multiple different ways, and don't have to remove their clothes - but many students, and the teacher, choose to be naked during the performances, which take place in front of the whole class.

One student's mother called a local news station to register her complaints about the piece of assessment, claiming that students are forced to be naked if they want to pass.

Speaking to KGTV, the mother said: "it's just wrong".

"It bothers me, I'm not sending her to school for this."

She claims her daughter is being forced into getting naked to pass the exam. She said: "to say 'you must be naked to pass this class', it makes me sick to my stomach."

The mother, who asked to remain unnamed, said that students were only told about the nature of the exam recently.

However, the professor who teaches the class, Ricardo Dominguez, said that students are told about the final assessment at the start of the course, and if they are uncomfortable with the exam, "they should not take the class."

Dominguez explained that the nudity was important, saying the naked body is "the standard canvas for performance art and body art."

The mother said her daughter fears she will be "humiliated" if she has to get naked for the exam.

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Critics posted negative reviews on the university's Facebook page

But in a statement, Chair of the university's Visual Arts Department, Dr Jordan Crandall, clarified that removing clothes is not required for the class, and passing the course is not required for graduation.

He added that students are aware of the nature of the assessment, and can choose not to be naked for the performance.

Dr Crandall said: "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."

Dominguez says he has been taking the class for 11 years, and has never received a single complaint about the final exam.

Some people have taken the mother's claims as fact, leaving critical comments online about the university's "disgusting" course requirements.

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