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Student union threatens ban on student newspaper

The University of St Andrews Students’ Association has threatened to ban the student newspaper, The Saint, for not complying with an Equal Opportunities Policy. The Saint is an independent newspaper, run by students, but pays rent to the Students’ Association (the union) for the use of an office. Unlike student newspapers at many universities, it is not funded by the university/taxpayer. Nevertheless, the tabloid publication has won several prestigious national awards and is regarded as one of the best student newspapers in the country.

Three years ago, a campaign against The Saint was run by a group of anti-capitalist students. They charged that it was too right-wing, and a flat window on College Street was taken up by posters attacking the newspaper.

The student union has repeately tried to compete with The Saint, bringing out a succession of free newspapers and a magazine, but none have enjoyed success – or regularity of production. Union officers have complained over several years that The Saint doesn’t give their side of the story.

Now the union has found that the newspaper is in violation of the union’s Equal Opportunities Policy on the grounds that it does not respect students’ “right to dignity”. This seems to refer to a section of the paper called ‘Halo’ which features pictures from parties and events, generally of students fairly drunk and in strange poses. There is a caption underneath each photo. The issue apparently came to a head after they featured a student union official who objected to the caption used. Some students fear that the Equal Opportunities Policy could be used to censor other types of reports.

7 comments to Student union threatens ban on student newspaper

  • What I find so amusing about this tale is the way that the roles are now reversed. It is the lefties who are now the dignified/pompous establishmentarians, who just KNOW what is right and what is wrong, so there, and the pro-capitalists who are their streetwise, ducking-and-weaving (and much better organised) tormentors.

    Always, in circumstances like this, when one side is better at expressing itself than the other, the other side resorts to censorship attempts. And, win or lose, it always makes a fool of itself.

    How very different this is from when I was at Essex University, reading Insurrectionary Studies way back in 1673. Ah me.

  • I guess they’ll have to move their editorial meetings to the nearest pub/coffee house. Probably a better atmosphere to meet anyway as long as they pick a spot that serves lots of meat – socialist-vegan repellent.

  • ernest young

    See – I told you so!, the little creeps pick up all that socialist crap at the local ‘Bureau of Information’, oh! sorry – university.

    I would bet money on it, that the chief whiner is in his late twenties, or early thirties, and is studying something connected with ‘humanities’.

  • @UFL

    I’m in my second year at the University of Florida, and I see letters in the best-circulated paper on campus (the Alligator) that show the same sort of thinking. Somehow a lot of people get the idea that newspapers are obligated to be ‘balanced’ and tell the truth, saving readers from the onerous burden of ciritcal thinking. Maybe these folks inherit the meme from people who complain about liberal TV media?

  • Mike

    Brian says:

    “How very different this is from when I was at Essex University, reading Insurrectionary Studies way back in 1673. Ah me.”

    Ah me, indeed. But you look wonderfully well-preserved, I must say.

  • It is to laugh. When I was a radical idiot at the University of New Hampshire in the ’60s, we prided ourselves on the opposition of the “establishment”. We published a couple of “revolutionary papers” whose real purpose was to provoke the administration. Legitimacy was the last thing we wanted. Then as I grew up I realized that if leftists got into power they would insist on censorship as self-righteously as the Nixonians, and with less hesitation. Now it’s all coming true.

  • Absolutely – I find it all very worrying. We seem to be becoming happy as a society to reject so many things without even sensible discussion or argument.