The Student’s Representative Council (SRC), in December, took a vote to sign a petition which aimed to remove The Sun‘s page 3. The campaign is run through the website change.org, and is asking Dominic Moran to “drop the bare boobs” from The Sun newspaper and to “stop showing pictures of young women in Britain’s most widely read newspaper.”
The issue was brought to the attention of the SRC after the Glasgow University Feminist Society built up their ‘No More Page 3’ campaign over the last few weeks. The society held ways for students to express their support for the petition by holding a stall outside the library and getting support on Facebook and Twitter. The stall gained 75 signatures, 90 Facebook ‘likes’ and 33 ‘re-tweets’.
President of the FemSoc Clopin Meehan, who is also a member of the SRC council, asked the SRC to sign the petition. The decision was delayed until December so council members could deliberate on and research the issue fully before responding. The majority of council members agreed to sign the petition.
James Harrison, President of the SRC, believes newspapers should not need to objectify women in order to gain readership. He said: “While this wasn’t something proposed by the executive, we do understand the strong feeling on this issue, and understand why it is inappropriate for a prominent national newspaper to regularly objectify women on its leading pages. Newspapers in the 21st Century shouldn’t feel the need to do this, and that is why I believe council were happy to sign the petition as a collective.”
Harrison also stated that no other action was being planned on this issue. He continued: “Signing this petition does not involve calling for any boycotts or bans of The Sun on campus, although if this is requested of us we can discuss what steps to take.”
Some students are criticising the SRC’s decision to sign the petition without consulting the larger student body. Some students believe a forum should have been offered to decide upon the issue, particularly as none of the elected SRC members mentioned backing this campaign in their manifestos.
In response to such concerns, Harrison said: “While I understand some may not agree with this decision, this was raised by and voted on by the SRCs democratically elected representatives.”