The Sun boycotted on campus
57% voted to ban it
A Union Council meeting has this evening decided to ban the Sun newspaper – the most popular in the UK – from being sold on campus.
Proposed by the Women’s Officer, Rachel Knott, the motion comes in response to accusations that the newspaper both violates Union policies, and undermines gender equality by sexualising women.
With 57% of votes for the motion of boycotting, and 38% against, it was a less than resounding victory for the campaign. However, such a decision by the Union of UEA students will be scrutinised, as there are many who felt a referendum was a preferable option.
Council rep Adam Robertson called for a referendum (a campus wide vote in which all students can participate) at the start of the debate, citing that this issue was too big to be decided by a relatively small council. However, council voted against the idea of a referendum, meaning that the boycott would be decided by council.
Union Officer Joe Raynes then suggested an amendment to the motion- rather than to boycott The Sun, The Shop should put up posters discouraging its readers from buying it. It was at first unclear as to whether members of staff would be forced to ask their customers why they were buying The Sun, and Tab Chief Editor Victoria Finan made a speech as to how this would be unethical. This amendment was also defeated by a council vote.
The vote to boycott The Sun then took place, and the motion has now become Union policy.
The vote, however, does show a victory for students who want to uphold union policy and gender equality. However, questions will be ask whether this is at the cost of the freedom of the press and questions students’ ability to decide for themselves what to buy and read.
Reactions thus far have been extremely mixed- with many excited at the step UUEAS has made towards equality.
However, some students feel they have been poorly represented, and the boycotting of The Sun is tantamount to censorship.
Blurred Lines – the infamous song by Robert Thicke, may soon follow the Sun, as has been the case across other universities.
The decision on Blurred Lines has been deferred and will be made in two weeks.
The Tab will continue to provide up to date news on reactions and developments – continue reading for more as it comes.
Do you agree or disagree with the boycott? Do you feel you’ve been fairly represented on Council, or have you never heard from your council rep? Do you wish the vote had gone to referendum? Let us know in the comments section!