P.O.R.N.O posters accused of sending out the wrong message for the second-year running



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


  1. This is rubbish. I’m pretty certain that Ben’s ability to breathe must be in someway a mere by-product of his complaining and if he one day stops complaining, there will be no more Ben.

    First off, being slim, even really slim, in no way denotes anorexia and as for the poster being ‘soft porn’, again, bollocks. I’m pretty sure that the sexy mermaid who appears on the relate to what’s on your plate poster (opposite V/045) shows as much skin and is as suggestive. Furthermore, it is easy to be sanctimonous about scantily clad women and the demeaning of women in general, which is I presume behind the censoring of magazines such as Nuts and Zoo in yourshop. I notice that the welfare officer doesn’t believe it is necessary to cover up the scantily clad men in the suggestive poses on the covers of axm and gaytimes, which happily sit on the shelves of YourShop.

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  2. “I notice that the welfare officer doesn’t believe it is necessary to cover up the scantily clad men in the suggestive poses on the covers of axm and gaytimes, which happily sit on the shelves of YourShop.”

    But then again we have all learned by now that it’s not sexism as long as a man is on the receiving end of it.

    Clearly, the university’s political-correctness brigade is far too busy censoring ‘sexist’ posters to care about real issues of discrimination – such as YRLA’s reluctance to offer accommodation to all-male groups of students.

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  3. 27 Jan ’10 at 3:00 pm

    Nathan Ratcliffe

    Everyone just needs to chill out and stop getting their lacy knickers in a twist every time something comes along which may offend someone in some way. Grow up, get on with your life and if people are offended that is their loss.

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  4. Every year. Every bloody year. If its such a big deal, then why doesnt the welfare officer contact Vanbrugh BEFORE the event as IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR. In my opinion the posters are getting more tame.

    I wouldnt mind a topless one of Steve Miller tbh

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  5. 27 Jan ’10 at 6:24 pm

    Joseph Leyland

    Ratcliffe – your opinion does not count. You are not at this University anymore

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  6. If Ben Humphrys has been quoted correctly then his warped idea of anorexia is beyond ludicrous. How PC can you get? In addition, the poster is no more pornagraphic that going to the beach.
    The hyper-sensitivety of YUSU, especially with regards to the welfare team, is a joke.

    Kudos to Vanbrugh for holding an event actually worth going to rather than the saps at the James JCRC who took a potentially good idea (Bad Taste) and shit all over it (ent reps will censor people at the door).

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  7. 27 Jan ’10 at 9:50 pm

    A. Politician

    Ahh this old chestnut again.

    If this event sends out the wrong message, what sends out ‘the right message?’. College events aren’t put on to send out political or social messages, they’re put on to give people a good night out.

    What even is the right message?

    Perhaps those offended could put on ‘Abstinence V’ and see if it attracts the same amount of custom?

    Women and men both go to the event, people clearly enjoy it, its a bit of a Vanbrugh institution and to be frank i reckon all the criticism from the religious groups / PC brigade / YUSU just help ticket sales. People like things to be a bit risqué. If you don’t like it, don’t go. Simple.

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  8. It’s pretty ridiculous to suggest that the woman in that picture is ‘verging on anorexic’… She’s got a perfectly healthy looking figure and quite frankly, people should be aspiring to a figure like that, particularly in a society where obesity is on the rise.

    And, enough with the political correctness already. Whatever people say or do, there’s almost always someone who’s going to be offended about it, so get over it. People need to learn to ignore things that are a subtly (if at all) offensive as this and just get on with their lives.

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  9. Someone should let Humpreys know that Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder. A person can be underweight for many reasons, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS etc…

    It’s good to see he can make this psychological analysis of the model by looking at her hips, though. That kid’s got talent.

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