The Sun has been stripped from the shelves of Dundee University campus stores with immediate effect after students led a campaign against the infamous Page Three.
“It’s pornography, in an un-age-restricted newspaper,” claimed leading campaigner Andrew Edwards after the decision was made to boycott the tabloid following a narrow vote on Tuesday.
The motion passed marginally with 59 students voting in favour of the boycott and 57 voting against it.
President of the Union Iain Kennedy, 24, explained to The Independent that the controversy did not stem from the ethics of Page Three, but on the liberty denied to students in removing the paper from stores. While many students did not agree with the exposure of women within The Sun, they saw its removal as a censorship, stripping students of the choice of whether or not to support the paper.
The President also said that ‘students aware of the decision respect it’ denying that there had been a negative reaction on campus. He added that there had been a high turnout to hear Tuesday’s debate, and that the vote to ban the paper was a sign that students did not agree with Page Three.
Students were required to obtain at least 50 signatures from the student body prior to Tuesday’s meeting. Andrew Edwards, 28, is a second year medical student at Dundee, and the instigator of the campaign. He said that Page Three is ‘unethical for a number of reasons’, and that the motion was ‘well received’.
He added: “This is not censorship at all. You can still buy it, but you have to go elsewhere. By removing it from campus, students are making an ethical decision not to support Page Three.”
Support has not been unanimous. "People don’t appreciate being told what they can and can’t read," said Joe Derry Setch, 20, who opposes the recent decision. “The union doesn’t have the right to dictate morality to students."
Last November, LSE Students’ Union also took the decision to remove The Sun from their shelves, in an equally narrow victory which saw the motion passed by just 64 per cent. Speaking to The Angle, SU General Secretary Alex Peters-Day revealed the similar motive that she ‘wanted to remove the paper because of its sexist depiction of women’.
Actress and writer Lucy Anne Holmes told The Independent last September about her ‘No More Page 3’ campaign, which appeals to Dominic Mohan to take bare breasts out of The Sun. “All I am asking is that women be treated, and represented, with respect. Like men are,” she writes.