Beyond the controversy: Here’s everything we know about SU Pres Emily Dawes

As FemSoc President she wanted to make all toilets on campus gender neutral


This week Soton SU President Emily Dawes has been all over the news after saying she wanted to paint over the university's Rothenstein Mural, dedicated to students who gave their lives in WW1.

Emily is now on leave and the mural has been locked away. Sure, she fucked up, tweeting something stupid that managed to piss off basically everyone. As well as catching you up to speed with what has happened since her tweet caused national outcry, here's everything else we know about our SU Pres.

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Before becoming SU President, Emily was the President of Southampton's Feminist Society

Her campaign contained a manifesto she branded as being "extra as heck", she also pledged to make all toilets on campus gender neutral.

During her SU presidential campaign, Emily told The Soton Tab she was going to "bring welfare and student wellbeing back to the heart of the job" as well as campaigning for greater awareness surrounding sexual consent and assault.

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In her LinkedIn she claims that she wants to "change the way the President of the SU works"

Her LinkedIn bio says she is "representing 24,000 students" by "ensuring the student voice is at the heart of everything we do".

She previously worked at a pizza restaurant and as a tutor

According to LinkedIn, Emily previously worked as a catering assistant at a pizza restaurant and as a server in a bistro. She was also a tutor for Stemtree – a science, technology, and engineering program for children based in Virginia, USA.

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She apparently sent a nude photo to a course group chat containing 200 people

Southampton students have claimed that whilst studying for her Physics degree at Southampton, Emily posted a nude photo in the course group chat containing over 200 fellow students.

The photo was of her naked from the waist down with a flower emoji covering her vagina.

Students were sending pictures of their dogs and cats down the group chat, they claim Emily then said: "Does anyone want to see my cat?" and sent a picture of her vagina covered by a flower emoji.

At the time Emily claimed it was sent as a joke, but some students took offence, with one saying: "Just for clarification just because you’re okay with insinuating a 'p***y' pic doesn’t mean everyone else is ok with it."

Emily replied, saying: “Does the female genitalia make you so uncomfortable that you can’t even take a joke about it??????”

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The Sun published details about her "privileged life" and £1 million house

The Sun went into detail about how she grew up in a $1.2 million house in Virginia, United States. They also wrote about her dad's career, who is high up in a US security software company and that she was educated at a £5,000 per term private school in London.

The front page of The Daily Star labels her as "World War Dumb"

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Southampton's MP also came out with criticism for Emily's tweets

Southampton MP Royston Smith, who spent ten years in the RAF, criticised Emily's use of free speech, which the soldiers sought to defend. Emily has since apologised and detracted her unsubstantiated tweet. Nevertheless it has upset many.

Should we care?

So, we know that Emily does not beat around the bush when addressing her personal opinions, but as she holds one of the most influential student positions in the university, we can all agree she is expected to go about her business with more tact.

Equally, following the widespread press released about Emily, including personal details about her family and her childhood, some have argued this information is hugely inappropriate and irrelevant.

Read more on this:

• Soton SU Pres says she wants to ‘paint over’ war memorial mural

• Union President ‘on leave until further notice’ following war mural controversy

• ‘It’s okay to be white’ sign found in Hartley Library