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BioSoc and PhySoc social renamed due to ‘derogatory’ language

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Image: Facebook

A Biology Society and Physics Society joint social has been renamed after intervention from Exeter Students’ Guild due to the derogatory language used on the Facebook event page.

The event name, originally ‘BioSoc and PhySoc present: Golf H*oes & Cricket Bros’, was called into question after complaints regarding the language. One complaint sent to the Guild and shown to Exeposé said, “I am beginning to be very concerned with such events occurring within societies, especially at a time when the university is claiming to be improving diversity and inclusion at Exeter.” The complainant also pointed out that they had persuaded Exeter University’s boxing club to take down a social with a similar name.

The term used in the title has been pointed out to be misogynistic and racialised. It has since been changed to ‘BioSoc and PhySoc present: Golfers and Cricketers’.

“I am all but fatigued to find a society is, yet again, using sex workers for comic value”

– Kate Byard, VP Postgraduate-elect and sex worker rights advocate, University of Exeter

BioSoc and PhySoc’s event had not been approved prior to its promotion, and the name of the social on the risk assessment was not the same as the one which has prompted the complaints. The Guild will now be working with the societies to run committee training in light of the issues raised, and have informed Exeposé that the event was submitted before it was advertised.

Kate Byard, VP Postgraduate-elect and sex worker rights advocate, pointed out the timing of the event:

“The very week I spent campaigning for the University to realise the large percentage of students involved in sex work, I am all but fatigued to find a society is, yet again, using sex workers for comic value.

“I am particularly concerned about Biology Society’s involvement in this event as it impacts wider issues. Last year, research by Dr Fiona Meth (Leeds Beckett University) demonstrated that sex workers avoid interacting with medical personnel as they believe they will be mocked. When biology students (and I am making the reasonable assumption that a portion will go on to work in the medical sector) run events precisely for the purpose of doing just that, I do not envision Meth’s disheartening findings, or the extreme health inequalities sex workers face, to change any time soon.”

Byard also consulted a sex worker on the issue, who said: “they used an asterix so they know it’s gross the di*****ds.”

Rosie McDonagh, VP Activities, said: “It was brought to our attention that a society had begun promoting an event which its name and nature did not accurately reflect the risk assessment submitted, if it had, the Guild would not have approved the event. The Guild does not condone events that are derogatory or not inclusive and will be re-emphasising this in upcoming society training.

“The Guild does not condone events that are derogatory or not inclusive and will be re-emphasising this in upcoming society training.”

– Rosie McDonagh, VP Activities, Exeter Students’ Guild

“We have worked with the society to rectify the situation so that the event being promoted reflects the risk assessment submitted.”

This article was updated on 6 March 2019 to include the following clarifications and edits:

  • Added: ‘One complaint sent to the Guild and shown to Exeposé said, “I am beginning to be very concerned with such events occurring within societies, especially at a time when the university is claiming to be improving diversity and inclusion at Exeter.” The complainant also pointed out that they had persuaded Exeter University’s boxing club to take down a social with a similar name.’
  • The phrase ‘after complaints that the language was both misogynist and racialised’ now reads: ‘after complaints regarding the language. The term used in the title has been pointed out to be misogynistic and racialised.’
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