Expel the members responsible and show commitment to gender equality
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Following yesterday's (5/06/13) hearing of the two accused of sexist heckling at the Annual Ancient's Debating Competition 2013 the Senate have ruled that there was "no case to answer" - despite eyewitness accounts, an audio recording, and person admissions from the accused on social media.
These Glasgow University Union (GUU) members brought the University of Glasgow into disrepute over the incident at this year’s Annual Ancient's Debating Competition. Female participants faced sexist abuse under the guise of "heckling": from the constant response of "Shame,women" throughout their speech to sexual comments about their appearance. They were told that women should expect this abuse if they choose to participate in debating and yet the severity of this abuse is confined to the GUU.
The Code of Student Conduct is clear on what behaviour warrants disciplinary action:
iii) Disrupting, or interfering with, any academic, administrative, sporting, social or other University activity;
iv) Obstructing, or interfering with, the functions, duties or activities of any Person;
v) Behaving in a disorderly, threatening, offensive, indecent or violent manner or using threatening, offensive or indecent language (whether expressed orally, in writing, or conveyed by electronic means), without prejudice to a student's right to the freedom of thought or expression;
vii) Discriminating against any Person on grounds such as age, disability, gender, political or religious beliefs, race, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation or socio-economic background;
viii) Harassing any Person;
xvii) Conduct that brings the reputation of the University into disrepute;
This is not an isolated incidence, but a symptom of an ongoing structural issue. Members of the GUU have attracted public attention on repeated occasions for their attitudes towards women and persist in annually celebrating the men who voted against admitting women into the Union in 1980. [http://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2012/12/07/lamb-still-on-the-menu/].
The women targeted for this abuse have instigated a complaint to the Senate in regards to the iniquituous methods of the investigation; the women did not have access to legal aid, anonymous witness statements were disallowed, and key witnesses were unavailable as the investigation ran through the exam period. [http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/news/home-news/men-cleared-of-sexist-heckling-at-university.21270098?_=a6c9edb2a1d1f81e4f3a5fbb78a3c8fe6f978453]
Furthermore, a statement from the GUU claims that any action they take will be in light of the Senate's conclusions [http://banishtheboysclub.wordpress.com/responses/] - which is nothing.
The University of Glasgow Senate have failed to take these allegations seriously and the result of their investigations is unjust. Please sign and share this petition to demand that the complaint of Ms Meredith and Ms Valles be taken seriously and that action be taken against those responsible for this sexist behaviour.
It's time for zero tolerance on misogyny - The GUU is not a Boys' Club anymore
#EnoughisEnough #SexismOffOurCampus #debategate
To see a collection of media and responses on this issue please visit: http://banishtheboysclub.wordpress.com/
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