Autumn term edition 2010The magazine ‘Cosmopolitan’ has been caught distributing their spin-off student magazine ‘Cosmo on Campus’ on the Sussex campus without the permission of the Students’ Union (SU).

This issue occurred last year, when Cosmo magazines were found to have been distributed in Falmer Bar and other locations on campus, and was brought to a head again last week when a similar incident occurred.

The Student’s Union at Sussex opposes the handing out of these magazines on campus on several fronts, primarily because they have a very selective policy on advertising on campus, especially when permission to promote or distribute any outside material has not been granted.

They also believe that this particular magazine promotes negative stereotypes about students, and can be seen to objectify women; something the SU are very firm on trying to prevent.

The magazine, aimed at young female students, and in particular freshers, has several features including, ‘do the walk of shame in style’ and ‘what goes through men’s minds when you’re drunk’.

These could be seen to promote negative images of alcoholic excess and sexual promiscuity.

Poppy, the SU’s Education Officer, stated that: “we get enough stick from people thinking students are lazy, hedonistic and a drain on society.

“We don’t need magazines like Cosmopolitan to be reinforcing this image.”

However, some argue that ‘Cosmo on Campus’ can be a positive influence in students’ life.

Millie Davies, a second year at Sussex, stated that: “while it could be seen to be objectifying women, it is an entertaining read and is something that many undergraduates can relate to.”

The magazine does aim to provide constructive advice and support for the student population.

For example it includes articles on how to avoid being pressured into sex, cheap deals for a tight student budget and how to deal with mental health issues at university.

The debate about Cosmopolitan’s influence in the lives of young people divisive partly because Cosmopolitan itself provides mixed messages about issues such as sex and alcohol.

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