This year’s Vanbrugh College P.O.R.N.O poster has once again become the target of YUSU criticism as, recent complaints emerged denouncing the artwork as offensive to both women and religious groups.
In meetings held with event organisers, YUSU Welfare Officer, Ben Humphrys, said: “Complaints saw the poster as sexist and not suitable for a diverse and child-friendly campus.” He also argued that the images postered around University and on the web were “degrading to women”.
Protests from Muslim and Christian societies, as well as bodies representing the welfare and LGBT community, have sparked the debate.
As a result, Vanbrugh Ents representatives were heavily pressurised to cooperate with YUSU and “censor” all P.O.R.N.O posters on campus.
“The poster depicted a woman who was thin and on the verge of anorexia,” Humphrys said. “In an age when depression and eating disorders are common.
“This sent out a poor message to Vanbrugh students.”
However, Kallum Taylor, a Vanbrugh Ents representative, stated: “As much as we’re willing to co-operate with YUSU (and are doing) we do think that they have made something out of nothing.” Tahir Shetty Vanbrugh College Chair, added: “As with anything sexually-related, some groups may have been offended by the poster. However, this Vanbrugh event will always be one centred around fun and sexual responsibility.”
P.O.R.N.O, a veteran Vanbrugh event now running in its fourth year, is no novice when it comes to controversy.
Last year´s poster received a similar reaction from YUSU, prompting frustration from Anne Ly, Vanbrugh Vice- Chair. Ly, when voicing her frustration, commented that it was a “tremendous shame that all efforts and hard work put into this event were disrupted by YUSU once again. The event actually generates a real awareness of common welfare issues.”
P.O.R.N.O, featuring free Chlamydia testing during the night, nevertheless brought both parties together on the night.
Humphrys stated that he “was fully supportive of an event that allowed people to express their sexuality whilst educating them on sexual health.”
YUSU´s stance on the poster, however, remained clear: “It will never be acceptable to put up what it essentially soft porn on