Lad culture targeted at NUS National Conference

Outgoing President Liam Byrne says “it is about time that we call out sexual harassment dressed up as banter"

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The Independent Online

The National Union of Students has set its sights on ‘lad culture’, and the influence of 'sexist, misogynist and homophobic' themes at University-organised nights, societies and sports teams across UK campuses.

In an opening speech to the annual Conference of the NUS yesterday, President Liam Burns argued that 'every single women student deserves to feel comfortable in her own Union bar'. He cited the NUS’ recent report on ‘lad culture’, That’s What She Said, as already having a significant impact on an area of public debate that society would 'not touch with a barge pole'.

The report states that while the ‘lads’ who participate in and promote the attitudes may be in a minority, it is a minority that “dominate the social side of university life for many of our participants.”

A motion is also due to be debated which will call on universities to enforce a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on campus as well as to 'put their female students’ rights before the simple aim of making profit' – referencing the popular partnerships with external entertainment companies in the production of club nights such as ‘Pimps and Hoes’.

Notably however, newly elected President Toni Pearce gave no mention to sexism or ‘lad culture’ in her manifesto.