Nudity ban rejected in Union Forum battle
Meenakshi Sarkar proposed banning “advertisement in [the] Union or campus with nude/explicit photos of students”. Three Better Union forum members voted in favour, and nine against.
In her proposal, Ms Sarkar singled out ‘nude’ posters used in the Union leadership elections as contributing towards a culture of “disrespect to the women community.”
“My concern is voiced by many other students from international community,” she added.
The international student and unsuccessful candidate for Equality and Diversity Officer said “freedom of expression is one thing, and values different. Here, it’s a question of what values do we stand for.”
Opponents to the motion slammed Ms Sarkar’s proposal as “sexist”.
Laura Potter, who stood unsuccessfully for the role of Welfare Officer with a campaign involving partial nudity, attacked the proposal.
Speaking to Leeds Student, Ms Potter said: “The people who got involved in [our] shoot did so because they wanted to and felt comfortable to take their kit off for a good cause. Both guys and girls featured in the photos and so to claim that they are solely disrespectful towards women is sexist.
“I am glad that the motion failed to pass as it would have restricted freedom of expression.”
The motion initially attempted to ban naked calendars, often used for charity fundraising efforts, although a subsequent amendment removed calendars from the motion’s remit. The forum also delivered a unanimous rejection of a proposed living wage for all Union staff, put forward by fourth year student James Greenhalgh.
A new Equality and Diversity policy was passed unanimously.
Sarah Noble’s controversial proposal for the establishment of dedicated ‘Liberation Officers’ failed to secure enough votes to be immediately adopted, and will instead go to a referendum.