Belden campaigners accused of offensive PR

Published

One of the Belden campaign team’s posters

Kate Snowdon
Editor

The students leading the “Brace Belden for Rector” campaign were asked to leave campus earlier today, following alleged complaints over their promotional material.

The campaign team had set up a stall outside the Fraser Building which, in a statement to Glasgow Guardian, they admitted that they had not sought permission for. They were then approached by three security guards who accused them of “causing aggro”, and were told to move from their position. The security guards would not elaborate further, and it is unclear who made the complaint, and what specifically it was regarding.

Upon being instructed to leave their stall, the students enquired as to whether they could continue flyering and were informed that they were not permitted to campaign “on or within sight of campus.”

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) contacted the security team for clarity on the situation, and were told that the posters the campaigners were distributing were the cause of their concern. One of their campaign posters reads “‘There’s only one candidate who shoots ISIS”, which is the poster they were distributing today. It is possible this was related to other campaign materials they have published which include the slogan “Fuck Isis”.

The SRC later returned to the team to state that upon discussion with security: “It has become apparent that some of your material breached the student code of conduct… This was indicated by your offensive use of language in one of your promotional material.”

The SRC stated to the Glasgow Guardian: “It is our understanding that the material was removed by Security due to it breaking the Senate Code of Student Conduct.

“The particular clause comes from 33.6 (v) which states:

‘Behaving in a disorderly, threatening, offensive, indecent or violent manner (including sexual violence or abuse) or using threatening, offensive or indecent language (whether expressed orally, in writing, or electronically)’.

“Any student that breaks this code will be reported to the Senate Office.”

However, a spokesperson for the University of Glasgow told the Glasgow Guardian: “Two members of the Brace Belden campaign team were approached by security staff and asked to desist from distributing flyers which were initially deemed to be offensive. On checking with superiors it was agreed that the material was acceptable and the student campaigners were informed an error had been made and that they could continue with their activities on campus.”

The campaign team told the Glasgow Guardian: “This whole situation is ludicrous. Where’s the accountability? Who could our poster possibly have offended? We are going to fight this all the way. Students are adults and should be treated as such. Our campaign’s message of solidarity and anti-fascism needs to be heard.”