The Sun banned from Students’ Union

The Sun has been banned from the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union.

A decision made by the University’s Students’ Union council means that the Sun will no longer be sold by the Union.

The proposal was put forward by women’s councillor Lucy Pedrick as part of the No More Page 3 campaign that seeks to remove ‘Page 3’ from the Sun newspaper.

Council members also voted on whether to send the decision to referendum but this motion fell.

Pedrick said a “referendum would not be a fair debate.”

Officer Luke MacWilliam disagrees and said a referendum would “be positive for the student body. It could educate and change people’s minds.”

The London School of Economics is also boycotting the newspaper.


10 Responses to “The Sun banned from Students’ Union”

  1. George

    Surely this is an attack on freedom of the press? If you were that offended by Page Three, surely there could be a proposal to remove or black out that page. I don’t read The Sun very often, and when I do it makes me pretty angry, but simply banning it from being sold from the union is a terrible breach of freedom of speech.

  2. V

    Furthermore, the women of Page 3 make astute observations on current affairs and I feel it is sexist for the student council to censor these women’s thoughts in this way.

  3. Rob

    Although the Sun is a terrible publication, banning it this way is disgraceful. A referendum would have surely been better, as this would have allowed there to be a fair vote, rather than a group of students who have taken it upon themselves to decide what is best for us. Last time I checked, the majority of students in the University were adults, who should be allowed to decide what they can read and buy for themselves. This starts with the Sun, but where does it end? Banning a newspaper just because you do not agree with it is not the right way of doing this, and for saying that the Union despises censorship is sending a mixed message.
    In addition, this is a classic case of double standards. Any student who goes into the Union shop is affronted by images of topless men on the Men’s Health magazine, yet if it was the other way around, there would be uproar. People need to calm down, and if you are offended by something, then don’t buy it!

  4. James Donnelly

    This isn’t an attack on freedom of the press or freedom of speech, freedom of expression doesn’t give you a right to an audience. There many publications that the Student Union chooses not to make available, it’s not the same thing as censorship.

  5. Sam Rae

    Hi, would just like to clarify what Lucy Pedrick, along with other members of Women’s Committee, mean by a “fair debate,” as this article leaves that unclear in a way which leaves Lucy’s intentions open to misinterpretation, wilful or otherwise.

    As any potential referendum, in order to have any decent mandate at all, would be attached to the upcoming Officer elections, all members of Women’s Committee and/or interested advocates of a less misogynistic Union would have all their free time exhausted by campaigning for various candidates for Women’s Officer. This would end up leaving nobody free to campaign in favour of the ban, meaning than any “No to the ban” campaign would pragmatically speaking have no meaningful opposition at all, hence making it not a “fair debate.”

    Whether or not you believe this to be a legitimate statement, it’s Lucy’s responsibility as Women’s Councillor to represent the interests of women students – and therefore, in representing the view of Women’s Committee that Page 3 is against the interests of women students (something to be argued elsewhere), she is compelled to vote for whichever method of implementing policy is pragmatically speaking going to get Page 3-like content out of our Union. Otherwise she’d be a shit women’s councillor, and she’s not. Union Council is a representative democracy, whether you like it or not, and it’s a councillor’s job to represent the interests of their constituents as effectively as possible.

    I’d also like to remind anyone reading this article that the Union shop shifts about 30 copies of the Sun a week, and alot of those are likely to journalism students, so the ban is effectively a symbolic gesture of feminist principle rather than an attack on any of the students who use the Union’s shop. There will also be cards placed in the Union shop in the stead of the banned papers, explaining the reasons behind the ban and informing those affected students where they can purchase their paper elsewhere, namely the Sainsbury’s about 100m away, so no-one is being massively inconvenienced either.

    to summarise – whether or not you agree with what happened in Council last night, don’t have a go at Lucy for it. She was just doing her job properly.

    • Leon D

      Sam Rae; her job is to represent what she feels, as a democratically elected officer, is best for the university’s students. She is the ultimate power, and responsible for her actions. I am sure that you, I, Lucy and the Women’s Committee would all agree that Lucy is *not* a limp, sycophantic puppet of the women’s committee. If she is, then she has failed her appointment miserably, and ought be removed. No, Lucy acted with independence and responsibility, and so faces the response to her action.

      In fact, so that the weakness of your argument is crystal clear, let’s invoke Godwin’s law. Your argument paraphrased – “whether or not you agree with what happened in Council last night, don’t have a go at Lucy for it. She was just doing her job properly” – could equally be applied to Nazi Stormtroopers. Should we have a go at them for doing their jobs properly? Yes, yes of course we should. Each has a brain.

  6. (another) Rob

    This is an absolute disgrace. I’m not a Sun reader, but the idea that the SU can prevent (supposedly grown up) students from reading something they disapprove of is beyond pernicious. It sets an awful precedent; I’m sure the people supporting the ban would be outraged if someone tried to ban Attitude or Gay Times, or the Morning Star, but the principle the SU have just set would make it possible. And the argument against a referendum is beyond weak. It is revealing that the SU don’t think they can win the argument with the majority of students, and they don’t trust us to read things they disapprove of; it shows a contemptuous attitude towards the people who elected them – not that many of us bothered to vote for this shower in the first place.

  7. Leon Derczynski

    Why is Lucy Pedrick shoving her ascetic, second-wave feminist views down the council’s willing gullet?

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