Striptease results in official campus cover-up

September 18, 2008

When confronted with protests over plans for a stripper to appear at a conference on campus, managers at the University of Nottingham reached an uneasy compromise.

Rather than banning the striptease act, university officials asked the organisers to "exercise moderation" and instruct the performer not to remove all her clothing.

But the concession was not enough to quell concerns. Mac Daly - associate professor in the department of cultural studies and warden of Cavendish Hall, where conference delegates were staying last week - said it was "completely inappropriate" for a university to allow a stripper to perform on its premises.

He said: "It is simply unacceptable. In halls of residence, we are forever having to deal with students who take their clothes off at parties. If university managers are sanctioning a striptease, what are we going to tell students in the future?"

Several wardens raised concerns before the event, organised by the men's social organisation Round Table, took place last week.

David Riley, the pro vice-chancellor responsible for conferences, said their concerns had been listened to and acted on.

He said: "We insisted that what this client had arranged for a private function was changed, and we also ensured that no members of university hospitality staff were in attendance after the dinner had concluded. We would have preferred the act booked by this client not to have taken to the stage at all, but our scope for action at such a late point, within an agreed commercial contract, was by then limited. The university is fully committed to drawing up strong guidelines and procedures to help ensure there can be no future repeat."

Dr Daly said a female member of staff at his hall of residence had complained of being "propositioned" by a drunken conference delegate, which he said was further evidence of the impact such events could have on others on campus.

He said: "The university cannot just bow to commercial imperatives; conferences don't exist in a hermetically sealed vacuum. I don't know why they couldn't just say 'Sorry, no stripper'."

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