Controversy at GUSA Quiz

Claire Diamond

A promotional video by Glasgow University Sports Association has gone viral after being broadcast at the sports association’s annual quiz. In just 24 hours, the video – entitled ‘GUSA and a Beat’ – received just shy of 2000 views in 17 countries around the world – being viewed almost one and a half times per minute.

The spoof video, of Justin Bieber’s ‘Beauty and a Beat’, depicts GUSA members parodying the singer’s number one single.  The video was first streamed at the GUSA Big Quiz on Friday at the QMU before becoming an overnight internet sensation.

Despite some initial controversy, the fundraiser collected £1500 that will go towards support club sport, including coaching and equipment costs, transport, accommodation and competition entry. GUSA also collected hundreds of unwanted bras for an Oxfam appeal.

Some students expressed concerns about the Association’s decision to support a local rotary club’s ‘Bras for Africa’ appeal, after GUSA claimed on the Facebook event page that ‘A woman wearing a bra is seen to be more independent and assertive and therefore less vulnerable to being assaulted by a man’ as they felt it did not tackle the problem of rape and put the onus on women to dress appropriately to avoid being raped.

One member commented: “I am no longer attending.  I do not feel comfortable… endorsing this charity.  The argument supporting this campaign is that what women wear determines whether or not they will be raped.  This is a worrying and ridiculous assertion to make.”

After several GUSA members voiced concerns about the original campaign to Chris Millar, GUSA President, the Association agreed to instead support Oxfam’s ‘Big Bra Hunt’ appeal. The bras will now be either be sold in UK Oxfam shops or sent to Senegal instead of passed to GUSA’s original choice, Cambuslang Rotary Club’s ‘Bras for Africa’ appeal.

GUSA President Chris Millar apologized for any offence caused and explained that their choice of charity was based on students being able to support a good cause without it costing them any money. As a member of GUSA’s senior council also sits on the Cambuslang Rotaty Club, the sports association decided to back the rotary following the council member’s recommendation.

There were, however, comments made by some GUSA Quiz attendees about the change of appeal whose comments were found to be inappropriate.

One GUSA member, Economics student Ross Hepburn, commented: “Bloody burds ruining everything… There are women in GUSA?  I thought only men could do sport.”

Clopin Meehan, Philosophy and Film student, quipped back: “Hurr durr, my knuckles reach the ground”.

Although event administrators quickly deleted some of the more offensive comments, Mr. Millar stressed that these comments did not represent those of the association and vowed to investigate further if any official complaints were made:

“Any comments made by the event’s attendees do not represent the views of GUSA. Should any of the remarks made be severe enough to warrant disciplinary action, I welcome them to contact Facebook administrators or the University Senate to seek their judgment on the matter.  However, I do not believe any official complaints have been made as of this time.

We recognise and appreciate all of our members’ opinions, and welcome any discussion surrounding the activities of GUSA.  Should anyone like to discuss things further, the platform of social media may not always be the most appropriate place.”



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