— KPMG brands the event as sexist
— Cullen refused to liaise with Gender Equality Co-ordinator before event
UCD Societies Officer Richard Butler has revealed to the University Observer that he will be investigating the Commerce and Economics (C&E) Society in relation to their Rappers and Slappers event held on Thursday, October 24th.
Concerns were raised by many students about the sexist connotations attached to the name of the event.
In addition to the investigation into the society’s conduct, KPMG, a sponsor of the C&E Society, have moved to distance themselves from the group in their branding of women as slappers.
Speaking to the University Observer, a spokesperson for KPMG condemned the theme of event and revealed their intention to be immediately disassociated from the society’s actions.
“We were recently made aware of a specific event taking place in UCD organised by the C&E Society. This event was organised without our knowledge and we strongly disassociate ourselves from the event theme.
“We immediately asked the organisers to remove any reference to KPMG from the event materials. KPMG would like to reiterate that we disapprove of sexism in any way and that we are proud to actively promote equality in the workplace.”
Before the event last Thursday, C&E Society Auditor, Karl Cullen, said that they intend to work with gender equality groups in UCD in the near future.
“We realise that the title of this event has caused controversy in UCD,” said Cullen. “To prevent this occurring into [sic] the future recommendations have been passed onto the societies council and members of the committee so that we may work with members of UCD’s gender equality group so that this does not happen again.”
Speaking to the University Observer, Gender Equality Co-ordinator, Rebek’ah McKinney-Perry, disclosed that the C&E Society has made no approach to her or any established UCD gender equality groups to rectify the issue or discuss the sexist content of their posters advertised across campus since Thursday, October 17th, despite attempts on her part to contact Cullen personally.
In 2009, a precedent was established for disciplinary action being handed down for offensive posters being advertised on campus. ArtsSoc and the Business and Law (B&L) Society were fined €2,500 for the content of their posters publicising The Virgin Ball being deemed “objectionable and crude.”
The Recognition Committee of the Societies Council further considered “the message conveyed by [The Virgin Ball] poster was insidious and dangerous” and felt “holding an event with such a title was also in breach of the basic standards of propriety and consideration that should be upheld by any student society.”