The first decade of UMBC’s operation saw periodic campus discomforts caused by controversial subjects, and nude photographs published in the fall 1968 issue of Dialogue, the UMBC literary magazine, was one such occasion. Ten photographs of nude dancers by Washington, D.C. photographer M.E. Nage (a.k.a. photographer Ron Stark) were published in the issue, including on the cover. The photographs were said to have depicted members of a D.C. dance troupe and had been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Dialogue editor Michael Jacobs anticipated that "the content of the issue may create some confusion," and he asked readers to respond "with artistic sensitivity "and accept or reject the works. In "a time when some individuals seek to challenge and offend others solely for the purpose of challenge and offense, it is far too easy to place serious creative effort on the same shelf with opportunism and arrogance."
Complaints began soon after publication. Chancellor Kuhn issued a statement responding to the photographs, explaining that "as is the practice in all universities, there is no prepublication censorship" at UMBC. He observed that "the pictures do not relate to the articles and are presented without comment or interpretation… The pictures do not seem to me to have much to commend them as art or for publication in a student literary magazine at UMBC." Kuhn surely expected off-campus political response and indeed there was -- Baltimore County Councilman Samuel J. Dantoni complained that UMBC was becoming an "institution of pornography." A few days later UMBC student leaders met with Dantoni, and impressed him; he later stated to a Baltimore Sun reporter that "the publication represented a sincere form of art expression."