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RHUL’s new varsity campaign is based on a feminist icon and you might not have realised

Our very own RHUL alumni

Ahead of International Women’s Day this Sunday 8th of March, and Varsity on the 25th, it’s important take a look at the meaning behind this year’s campaign.

First of all, if you don’t know what Varsity is, it’s essentially when RHUL and Surrey University come together in an annual sporting clash to determine which university is better (obviously it’s us).

There are events in all kinds of sports all day long, ranging from athletics to karate. This year the clash is taking place on RHUL’s turf, which is arguably making everyone more determined to win.

The video shared by the Royal Holloway Sport on their Facebook page for this years Varsity event, has a powerful message behind their hashtag #deedsnotwords.

Varsity 2020

Join the event: the t-shirt: ready for another Varsity clash against the Surrey Stags!The time for talking is over, the time for action is now! #DeedsNotWordsCredit: Goliath Creative

Posted by Royal Holloway Sport on Wednesday, 26 February 2020

More information about Varsity has been shared on the RHUL SU website, which includes information about the event as follows: “For over a century, Royal Holloway has been the home of fighters; those who fought for the right to vote, fought for equality and fought for justice. They fought with deeds, not words.

“Now we will fight on our home turf once again, we will fight with deeds, not words. This is our heritage and this will be our legacy!”

“Those who fought with deeds, not words” is a reference to RHUL alumni Emily Wilding Davison, the famous suffragette who died by throwing herself under a horse, still fighting for women’s right to vote. She took action by going on hunger strike in prison, committing arson, throwing stones at politicians and hiding in Parliament to avoid being put on the census.

Her legacy is continuing on today in the students who still study at RHUL, over a century later. Inspiring students in both studies and in sports as well as women elsewhere in the country. Royal Holloway dedicated the new library to Emily, calling it ‘The Davison Building’.

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Emily’s actions have had significant impact of women’s rights to vote and stand for MPs over the last 100 years. 2019 saw a record number of women set to stand for positions in politics, which led to a record number of female MPs being elected that year.

Women, (of certain classes) have been able to vote in the UK for 102 years, whilst all women have been able to vote since 1928 all thanks to those who fought in the suffragette’s name. Maybe in the future women can eventually be paid the same as men. Who knows?

Let’s hope RHUL bears embody her message when Varsity comes. You can watch the advert on RHUL SU’s social media and find out more information about the event on their website.

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