Sexism on campus culture tackled by pioneering student

And the Guild want nothing to do with it

A firebrand student is championing the protest against sexism on campus after Spotted pages opened the doors to bullying and harassment.

On Monday a new Spotted page was launched to expose the casual sexism which is rife at Exeter University.

The page already has over 700 likes, and scores of students – both male and female – have already sent in their horrific experiences.

The founder of the page, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Tab the aim of the page is to subvert this culture.

Sexism on campus is rife

They said: “I was inspired to set up the page after discovering the existence of similar pages at other universities – I listened to a talk about it at the Labour Students conference.

“I thought it was such a great idea as I intensely dislike the ‘Spotted’ pages – they’re a laugh at first, and the you start to realise a lot of the things posted on them are actually quite unpleasant, and, to an extent, they’re really forums for bullying and harassment.

“The idea of a Spotted: Sexism page is to subvert that, and turn the ‘Spotted’ name into a place where people can share their experiences of being the targets of harassment in a supportive forum.”

They added: “Any abusive and ambiguous comments will be immediately removed by the moderators from the page.”

Although they’re happy with the positive response to the page, the sheer number of stories sent in is upsetting.

Stories that have been sent in

They continued: “I’ve been surprised and pleased by how popular it’s become so quickly, and saddened by how many accounts we’ve received in the last 24 hours alone.

“I think the informality of Facebook, and its similarity to the already understood concept of the ‘Spotted’ pages mean it’s a great way to get experiences out there quickly and easily.”

The Guild have told the creator they don’t want to be associated with the page, even though it’s raising awareness of sexism and is different to other ‘Spotted’ pages.

The page’s founder told The Tab: I’ve been disappointed by the negative Guild reaction so far – I’ve had a series of messages from them insisting I remove all references to the NeverOK campaign as they dislike the use of the ‘Spotted’ name.

“The Guild have said the ‘name and shame’ approach is simplistic and not something they endorse, despite my pointing out to them that the entire forum is anonymous and the point is to subvert the ‘Spotted’ pages.”

Spotted pages often target students in campus hotspots

But even though the Guild do not support the page, others think it is a great idea.

Oli Norrington, a third year Electrical Engineer said: “Sexism is generally bad, but to be honest I think it’s over-sensitised in some cases.

“If the page gives people an outlet and they have genuine problems then it can be a good thing.”

But some support the Guild’s decision.

Monika Patel said: “I think because it’s Facebook and not very official, I can see why the Guild would want to distance themselves from it.

“However I do think people need to get this kind of message across, and any sort of platform they can have is positive.

“Who knows, maybe it will highlight this very serious issue more effectively than the Guild campaign.”