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Sports society waits for nude calendar go-ahead

The Calendar Girls made nude calendars very popular in the late 1990s

The decision to allow a sports society nude calendar will be made by a working group after the Students’ Union council meeting.

The meeting on Friday 28 January, attended by the full-time union officers and student representatives from groups and schools, discussed the amendment of the objectification policy as well as proposing two emergency motions on housing and the UK Border Agency’s recent public consultation.

The amendment proposed by Jo Stovell, sports representative for the Activities Committee, sought to change the Students’ Union’s current ‘Objectification of Women Students’ policy to allow sports societies to produce nude calendars.

The calendars will be created to fundraise for sports societies and some of the proceeds would be donated to charity. Before any concrete decisions were made, there were arguments put forward for and against the amendment by Jo Stovell, Erif Petch from the Women’s Group; Kieran Burn, student representative for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) society on campus; Jamal Maxey, Student Councillor for the School of Business, Management and Economics (BMEc); Sol Schonfield, Communications Officer; Scott Sheridan, Activities Officer and Tom White, Student Councillor for the School of Law, Politics and Sociology (LPS).

Jo Stovell explained that the sports team wanted to produce a nude calendar “to show how good they [women involved in sports] felt about themselves…to empower other women”.

Stovell further commented on the wish to strip the ‘butch’ image away, referring to the stereotypes of females within sports.
Speaking against the motion, Erif Petch, the women’s group representative, explained that the calendar “could turn people away” and be “a deterrent” for any new members who did not wish to take part in the making of the calendar.

Jamal Maxey questioned whether the calendar would conflict with any sport members’ religious values.
Scott Sheridan, Activities Officer, suggested that there should be a working group implemented to decide the specific rules and regulation under which the calendar could be appropriately created. The suggestion was agreed by all present.

Chair of the Council meeting, David Cichon, asked the council whether in principal it supported the idea of a nude calendar.
The meeting then agreed to devolve decision-making power to the working group which is to be chaired by Scott Sheridan.

The working group will include members of union council including Erif Petch, Sol Schonfield, Jo Stovell and more.

There will be another council meeting on Monday 14 February.

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