Organisers apologise for ‘Lesser Nation’ social

“It’s a shame that students in positions of responsibility on campus think they can get away with this kind of bigotry”

The Facebook event image

The Facebook event image

Organisers of a social scheduled for Wednesday night, entitled ‘Lesser Nation’, have apologised and amended the event.

The social was organised by the Rowing Club’s social secs but created independently of the University Club. The original event read,”It has come to our attention that the boat club is so white… As promised in our mandate we want to have an ethnic minority social but it turns out that it wouldn’t go down too well with Yusu or many ethnic minorities so we are having a lesser nation social instead… As such we want to pay homage to our peers from less well known nations of the world.”

In response to criticism, the event’s organisers have amended the text. The event has since changed its title to one member’s, ‘super douper Dutch/around the world themed pardyy!!!’ The text now reads, “We want to pay homage to our peers from less well known nations of the world.”

One second year student told Nouse, “Its a shame that students in positions of responsibility on campus think they can get away with this kind of bigotry. Its not funny and it makes people feel unwelcome, whatever their ethnicity, to join a University Society that should be inclusive.”

One organiser was, “disappointed that anyone feels that way. With regards the page, it is an unofficial page that we are putting on separately from a club social to celebrate our Treasurers 21st Birthday. As we say in the description, the social is largely based around her and I suppose is kind of an inside joke that could potentially be deemed offensive if you don’t know who is being talked about or referenced. In no way did we mean to cause offence and I’ve changed the bits I believe to be in question and hope this issue need not go any further.”

The event had asked for “dedication” from everyone, “when it comes to representing some of the Britain’s less significant cousins this week. We are also launching a new strategy we have been working on called ‘bring your favourite foreigner’, where, if you know any, you should bring a companion from a distant land. Don’t know any minorities? Don’t worry!

“You can find them and make friends with them in the following places: the library after dusk, the languages for all department on a Wednesday afternoon, Jumbo’s Chinese buffet, and anyone with a camera at the minster, the dungeons, anywhere on the walls, or queuing up at Bettys.”

YUSU Sports President, Charlotte Winter: “I want to make it clear that neither myself, the York Sport Committee or YUSU condone actions or language that could reasonably be deemed to be offensive YUSU is determined to actively promote equality and diversity as a core value and would take action to prevent offence to any group within our diverse membership body.”

Members have been told to, “not resort to any primitive stereotypes kids! We’re better than that!”

16 comments

  1. So a few people are going on a night out in fancy dress? Why is this a news story? Just another case of boring people complaining over absolutely nothing because they think they’re morally righteous.

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  2. 4 Feb ’13 at 7:13 pm

    Ricky Lambert

    Wow did someone make a private event that offended someone on Facebook? Must be a slow news day…

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  3. Does the second year student even exist? If they do I’m guessing they’re pretty closely affiliated to this paper. Also they need to get a life.

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  4. Bore me later nouse.

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  5. Take a joke bro!

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  6. I’m an international student and even find this funny!

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  7. Very selective use of quotes totally misrepresenting the event.

    “Created independently of the University Club” is the key point here, who cares what people wear to Ziggy’s?

    Boring non story from Nouse. Again.

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  8. 4 Feb ’13 at 7:36 pm

    Jackie McGinty

    Congratulations on perfecting the art of copy and paste. Great bit of reporting.

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  9. 4 Feb ’13 at 7:40 pm

    Robert T Bruce

    This is such a non story and has been taken completely out of context. If you would have read the description properly and maybe been a member of the club yourself you would have understood that we are doing this in order to represent members of our club who come from distant lands. How is this at all offensive? Societies have socials that could be deemed offensive all the time such as pimps and hoes. Why is there not an article written about how these are demeaning and offensive? Get off your high horse Nouse and have a bit of fun!

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  10. So some organisers are throwing a fancy dress party for their friend, who happens to be the treasure of a club? Nouse – interesting and well researched articles since 1964.

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  11. As much as this may have been a private joke between friends – surely those involved can appreciate the potential offence that could have been taken from the theme of the event.

    I’m glad nouse has taken the time to report on this casual racism – and hope that it convinces people to think twice before abusing their freedom of speech on Facebook.

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  12. @louise
    Freedom of speech? Good one mate

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  13. 4 Feb ’13 at 8:41 pm

    Harry Dorrance-King

    Dear Laura,

    Firstly as many people have pointed out this is a largely misrepresented story.

    “Members have been told to, “not resort to any primitive stereotypes kids! We’re better than that!”

    This was on the original group so “have” should be “were”. Secondly as this was on the original group the specific point was bigotry, racism, xenophobia etc. would be unacceptable to the Boat Club and it’s members.

    The term lesser was meant to refer to lesser known countries, or this is how I interpreted knowing the people who created the event.

    Out of curiosity, why have you never reported the Jersey Shore or the Only way is Essex socials? Where one could argue that the event organizers intend for people dress and behave in a manner purposefully derogatory. Even closer to home the ClubD events many of which you have attended some argue are derogatory, or people have dressed in a manner which people could see as derogatory (Even though I do not believe this is the case).

    It appears you have attempted to stir controversy to create an article when you find nothing to write about, in the process damaging the reputation of the Boat Club and its members.

    Yours Sincerely

    Harry Dorrance-King

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  14. 4 Feb ’13 at 9:37 pm

    Misrepresentation

    This article takes a rather ambitious stance on its moral judgements given the huge number of chav, TOWIE, Tramp and other more outwardly derogatory social themes that go unquestioned and never seem raise a single sanctimonious eyebrow in the Nouse offices.

    The use of the word “bigotry” suggests that this article has misrepresented and misinterpreted the theme of an event that is clearly focused on celebrating cultural diversity. Whilst some of the phrasing used may be a little close to the mark, it is clear there is no malicious intent associated with this event, something that has obviously been missed by a student newspaper intent on jumping on yet another bandwagon.

    It is journalism such as this, that is resulting in an over-sensitisation to anything race related, which prevents people from embracing and celebrating other cultures due to fear of castigation. However, the more serious issue is that this sort of journalism may devalue any future reports that may actually pertain to serious racial issues that need addressing. This, Nouse, is not the kind of image an influential student newspaper ought to be projecting. Your report card reads: Nouse must try harder.

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  15. It seems that someone simply saw the word ‘nation’ or ‘ethnicity’ on the event, and was suddenly drawn to the conclusion that this was racist. Having seen the event in its original form, it was clear that the event was supposed to be ironic, poking fun at the homogeneity of the Boat Club, rather than targeting a particular minority.
    It’s sad that the two organisers were cornered into making an apology by Nouse, on what was essentially a private party.

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  16. Laura Hughes got trolled hard. Trolololololololololol

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