A Twitter account alleging to be the official University of Nottingham account for Lincoln Hall has tweeted pornographic images of women.
The images of two naked women sitting on transparent plastic chairs are captioned with the words: “Freshers 2013? Lincoln hopes so”.
The account has been active since the 23rd of August. Other tweets include a photograph of Emma Watson, with the caption: “Lincoln hopes the girls in Lincoln look like this this year”, as well as retweets of photographs of model Megan Fox.
The Sherwood Hall twitter account has also come under scrutiny with tweets such as “Freshers’ week won’t be the only time I will be visiting Freshers’ rooms- #comeatmegirls”, posted over the summer.
Speaking about the content both of the Lincoln and Sherwood accounts, Sherwood Hall’s JCR President, Tom Gladstone, told Impact: “I don’t necessarily think that this is wrong and that said ‘banter’ on informal twitter accounts is inappropriate”.
“I don’t necessarily think that this is wrong and that said ‘banter’ on informal twitter accounts is inappropriate”
UoN Feminists told Impact: “We wonder if Lincoln has thought about the women it may be marginalising in this Tweet.
“The presumption that “hot girl Freshers” will be at the will of the people writing this post is shocking, let alone that the implication that a woman is only as good as her body”.
Although the Twitter accounts have no official backing by the Students’ Union, the SU’s twitter account follows @JCRSherwoodHall, who have had exchanges on twitter with @UoNLincoln. JCR Vice-President for Sherwood, Samuel Wall, told Impact that the SU “have been aware of what we have tweeted and not once replied to anything”. He added that the Lincoln account “could cut some freshers off”.
Gladstone also commented: “it doesn’t seem like [the Lincoln Hall account] is being used as a proper representation of the hall and its JCR in terms of information sharing, event organising and help and advice”. He added that first years may view @UoNLincoln’s tweets as “official sources of information” and as such “it is really important not to post anything that may intimidate or seem aggressive”.
The Students’ Union Education Officer, Dasha Karzunina, told Impact that the Lincoln account “seems like a random account… The SU certainly doesn’t endorse it but don’t think the Uni does either”.
Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, told Impact that the account is “yet another manifestation of the sexism that seems to be filtering through not only freshers’ week but the whole student experience, sending female students incredibly damaging and unhelpful messages about their value and function being purely restricted to their looks right from their very first experience of higher education”. The Everyday Sexism Project is a collection of over 10,000 daily experiences of sexism.
The Students’ Union Welfare Officer, Mike Dore, has released a statement in response to increasing concerns over the trending issue ‘#FreshersWeekSexism’:
“Tolerance policy to Sexual Harassment, in accordance with the NUS definition of sexual harassment. This is defined as groping, pinching or smacking of your body/having your clothes lifted/someone exposing themselves to you without consent. During Week One, but also throughout the year, the Union promotes this message and encourages any student who faces sexual harassment of any kind to report it to us – either through our Welfare Officer Mike Dore or through our Student Advice Centre”.
The twitter account has now been removed.