Twenty-two-year-old Duke University spring 2010 graduate Karen Owen has tarnished the reputation of the prestigious school, according to critics, by writing a fake thesis presentation about her sexual encounters with 13 of the school’s athletic students.
“It makes me ashamed that the Duke name is attached to what she’s done. And it’s the age-old double standard: people are more critical of what she did because she’s a girl,” Duke senior Nicole Queathem told the NY Times.
The 42-page PowerPoint slideshow presentation reportedly started out as a joke, and was only sent to friends of Owen. But, of course, as things do in this day and age, the thesis went viral and exploded across the Internet, becoming a public relations nightmare for the university, upsetting parents, faculty and students across the campus. Critics say the presentation was an invasion of privacy for the players who were unwittingly involved in the joke, and an embarrassment to the school’s classy and honorable reputation.
“All the world’s a stage in the Internet age,” said Lee Rainie, the director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. “This is just the latest of a long list of examples of how things that are often meant for small, private audiences have innumerable opportunities to become public events, because once they have left the creators’ screen, they can be shared, forwarded and posted.”
The presentation included photos of the student athletes and graphs that ranked their sexual performance with Owen. The student athletes in the presentation are, or were, all players for the Duke Lacrosse team and the teams rep has declined to comment on the incident.