Student leaders warn naked university Christmas calendars challenge ‘dignity at university’

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Many will be opening up stocking fillers of naked charity calendars this morning but the National Union of Students has warned that they challenge the notion of equality and dignity at university. It also warns that many who pose will end up on internet porn websites.

Over recent years there has been a growing trend for male and female university sports teams to produce naked calendars to raise money for deserving causes.

The University of Warwick’s Boat Club has produced a female and a male naked rowing club calendar. The later (photographed) has heavily featured in the gay press because it is to raise money for the former rugby player Ben Cohen’s StandUp Foundation that combats homophobic bullying. The February edition of GT includes a double page spread of one of its photographs.

Although to many, the calendars are harmless fun and titilation, student leaders are now warning their members against making them

The National Union of Students says that “universities should be safe places which champion equality and dignity”.

Kelley Temple, the NUS women’s officer told The Times: “Not only do the women in these calendars find their photographs on pornographic websites without their consent, they also receive on-going harassment on campus. More generally they contribute to an increasingly toxic air of misogyny and objectification on some campuses.”

On its website, the University of Warwick’s Boat Club explained why they made their calendar: “Ben [Cohen]’s foundation tackles bullying, and particularly homophobic bullying, in both the UK and the US. We were really delighted to find out about Ben’s work — like Ben, we have had a huge amount of support from the gay community over the last four years, and this is our way of saying thank you. No H8!”