Warwick student union president under fire for sexism


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The Independent Online

A female student is shown having her bra unhooked in public by President of Warwick Students’ Union, Nick Swain. 'With Nick, it’s all about action' states a student in Nick Swain’s presidential re-election campaign video.

In a YouTube video entitled 'Warwick SU Sexism Nick Swain', a montage of clips are shown featuring exposure of male bottoms, a chorus of 'get your tits out' and shots of extreme alcohol consumption.

The video was published ahead of the Warwick Student Union Office Elections, which close on Friday. The current president is running against four other candidates, stating in his promotional video that he has 'the experience and the passion' to best represent the voices of the student population at the university.

“I like that he wants to give out free condoms for all nights out,” a student states in the video, in which different members of the student body explain why they are supporting Nick’s bid for re-election. Another reason given is his idea for 'a proper Freshers’ week, with no lecture commitments'. 

Mr. Swain boasts the highest number of votes ever received in the history of the Students’ Union following his election campaign last year. In his current campaign, he states that he has 'gained a level of responsibility that I would never have dreamed of just a few years ago'.

Commenting on his behaviour in the video to The Boar, Warwick’s student newspaper, he stated “I unreservedly apologise for my actions and for any offence that this video has caused. This event took place in December 2011, many months before I was elected as President of Warwick Students’ Union, on a holiday amongst friends.

“However, this fact in no way justifies my behaviour as portrayed in the video. The woman involved is a good friend of mine and has reassured me that I caused her no harm or offence as a result, but I nevertheless offer my apologies.”

The female involved in the incident, who wishes to remain anonymous, also contacted the student newspaper to say that she felt the clip was taken out of context:

“I wish to confirm that I was not offended or objectified, any attempt to portray this as such has been misconstrued and not representative of his character.”

The real evidence of how damaging this behaviour is to the president will no doubt be revealed when the votes are counted tomorrow night.