Today’s ‘Rally Against Misogyny’ on campus, organised by the Glasgow University Feminist Society, saw a good turnout of supporters in favour of reforming the GU.
All four SRC executives also attended the event in order to show support, as well as over 200 male and female students from across the University. The event arranged for nine prominent members of the University community to speak, including Caroline Moore, who started the online petition for GUU to discipline the men involved in Saturday’s sexist heckling; Jess McGrellis, VP Student Support and President Elect; Colum Fraser, President of the QMU; and Heather Whiteside, GUU Debates Convenor.
The rally began on Library Hill, and marched down towards the front of the GUU chanting “Say hey, say ho, say sexism has got to go”. The doors to the GUU were closed so no attendees of the rally could enter the building.
In her speech, Jess McGrellis announced: “The SRC has a good record for fighting for equality and we are ready to help the GUU in any way we can so that we can help create a more welcoming environment, so that students will want to go there and feel safe going there. Together we can make the University of Glasgow a safer place for all students, regardless of who you are, whether you’re a woman or a man.”
The Facebook event for the rally received over 600 attendees. Many of these could not be at the rally, though clicked ‘attending’ to show solidarity and support for the event. Many placards were on show, calling to ‘Banish the Boys Club’ and ‘Kick Sexism Off Campus’.
Sarah Kilday, main organiser of the rally, also spoke at the rally. She said: “I think one of the things that was most shocking thing about this is that, for so many students here, it wasn’t shocking. For the GUU themselves, it was to be expected. Whilst I don’t believe in any way that every member of the GUU is sexist, there’s a cultural problem within the union.”
Attendee of the event Sarah Jones felt the event was a very important step in making the campus a safer place. She said: “It’s really important we make our campus safer for everyone; women, LGBT people, others who are discriminated against. It’s our Union and it’s appalling in this day and age that people are afraid to go there, or have to be really careful when going there.”
Colum Fraser also feels today’s event made a significant statement. He said: “It’s important to make it clear that misogyny has no place on campus, no places in the Unions and it’s really good to see all these people here to support it. It’s not just an anti-GUU message, it’s a statement that it [misogyny] is not welcome here.”
The rally ended outside the GUU to chants of “Whose Union? Our Union.” Students are hopeful that the weekends events will act as a catalyst for reform at the GUU. Over 800 people have now joined the ‘Reform the GUU’ Facebook page.