STUDENTS have condemned vandalism carried out upon posters around campus. Posters advertising the Literary & Historical (L&H) Society’s Porn Debate and the Business & Legal (B&L) Society’s Bunny Ball were defaced with red spray paint last week.
L&H Society Auditor, Ian Hastings criticised the vandalism commenting that he thinks “vandalising a public picture, no matter what the picture was kind of a silly thing to do”. He defended the advertisement stating that it was not intended to advocate or condemn the issue of pornography, rather the society was solely putting the idea up for debate.
“If [the poster] evokes feelings of disgust, I thought it was somewhat against the point to vandalise it, because it’s not as if it’s saying this is or is not acceptable; it just wants to raise the issue.”
Stressing the importance of debate within the university, Mr Hastings argued that he believes “it’s particularly important in a university environment that there should not be an attitude that people have a right not to be offended.” He went on to defend the posters saying, “I think that the poster was good, I thought the imagery was good, I thought it rose the issues and it did exactly what a debate is supposed or should do, which is provoke thought.”
Claiming that he approached the person responsible for the damage, Mr Hastings added that the student involved rejected an invitation to speak at the debate, stating that “I generally have a problem with people not engaging with anything and just assuming that their opinion is the right one.”
B&L Society Auditor, Amro Hussein, stated that he was upset by the vandal’s reaction to the poster. “I just wish [they] would have had a talk with me about it as opposed to just attacking it.” Explaining that he understood why some students may have been offended by the Bunny Ball poster, Mr Hussein stated that the event promotes “a simple connection to Playboy Bunnies, that kind of concept”, adding that “I see why some people might be offended by it… but [the posters] weren’t intended to be provocative.”
The damage caused to the posters consisted of the worked ‘sexist’ being sprayed in red across the L&H posters while large red Xs were sprayed onto both socities’ posters. The L&H and B&L advertisements both featured an image of the female body.
The University Observer attempted to contact the student involved in the vandalism, however had not received a response at the time of going to print.