A student programming committee’s decision to show the porn film Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge in the University of Maryland College Park student union this weekend has been overruled by the university’s president.

UM President C.D. Mote Jr. took the action after Maryland state legislators raised the possibility of cutting state funding to the institution.

Republican state senator Andrew Harris proposed amending the state budget to cut off funding to any college or university that screened an adult film other than as part of coursework, and senate president Thomas Miller indicated that he would support such an amendment. “That’s really not what Maryland residents send their young students to college campus for, to view pornography,” he said.

The college’s vice president for student affairs, Linda Clement, said the decision to cancel the screening wasn’t made on any one basis. “People were concerned about portrayal of women, concerned about violence, concerned about our students and decision-making processes,” she said. “It just seemed like the best thing to do.”

Discussion of the issue in the legislature was halted several times this morning as student groups on class trips filed through the senate chamber. “If you kids are wondering what we’re doing, we’re waiting for you to leave the room,” Miller said at one point. “We’re going to talk about some bad stuff.”

Update: Big shock — the legislators got played for fools by the movie’s distributors.