‘No girls allowed!’: Students face sexism at Varsity

Two female University of Leeds students were victims of sexist abuse at the Varsity grand final according to a complaint put forward to the University.

The incident is said to have occurred during the Varsity showpiece event match last Wednesday evening Speaking to The Gryphon, the victims’ friend who witnessed the assault identified the abusers to be ‘rugby players’ which were ‘recognisable by their blue shirts and chinos’.

According to the witness, who wishes to remain anonymous, the women were looking for their seats in the stand when they passed the ‘crowded stand of second year players’.

It is alleged that the players had abused the victims by throwing beer cups at them, shouting ‘‘No Girls Allowed!’. The witness said, ‘my two friends were hurt and covered in beer.

It took them half an hour to clean them before they could join us in our block.’

The victims informed the University’s Vice Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, of the incident who was quick to respond, ‘this is simply unacceptable and in direct contradiction of the University’s values, in particular our commitment to equality and inclusion’.

The incident coincides with the project introduced by Equality and Diversity Officer, Gemma Turner which aims to tackle discriminatory behaviour.

In a statement made to the newspaper, Gemma said: ‘I’m really sorry to hear about this incident.

At the Union, we do not tolerate any kind of sexual harassment whether it’s verbal or physical, and that policy extends to our events.

I’ve made it one of my personal objectives to roll out our zero tolerance to sexual harassment policy across the city as it’s vital that students feel comfortable to report harassment and are confident that it will be taken seriously by staff in any venue.

If any student has experienced any form of sexual harassment I urge them to get in touch with the Union’s Student
Advice Centre or contact me directly.”

Abla Klaa

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