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A marketing campaign by Students Union nightclub, The Sugarhouse, has come under fire for allegedly promoting promiscuity among students.
The campaign, featuring t-shirts with the words ‘I got shagg-ed at the weekend’, has caused debate between the Union and the Chaplaincy Centre Welfare Committee over the acceptability of the slogan.
With profitability being a problem for the Union in past years, the Sugarhouse has been under pressure to create a campaign that would grab the attention of the new students. The Union developed the idea of using the slogan ‘I got Shagg-ed at the weekend’, playing on the nightclub’s cross-campus nickname of ‘the Shagga’. 2,500 t-shirts bearing the slogan have already been given out, with more being reportedly requested by eager students. Badges and posters advertising the club have also been given out, generating a mixture of amusement and criticism among students and staff.
Addressing a letter to the LUSU President Michael Payne, Reverend Steve Charman of the Chaplaincy Centre voiced his concerns. He argued that although the slogan may have relevance to students’ familiar with the name of ‘the Shagga’, the t-shirts were “promoting promiscuity”, which he said was “not a concept that I imagine the Student Union would like to be seen to be promoting.” Concerns over the impact on the wider Lancaster community were also raised.
On behalf of LUSU, General Seceretary Janie Coleman responded at length to the criticism, stating “the word ‘shagged’ has a variety of meanings, and does not neccesarily mean to be promiscuous”. She also pointed out that Freshers Fair 2009 saw the launch of a safe sex campaign by the LUSU Women’s Officer, Sarah Dunn.
Replying to the claim that the slogan would create negative perceptions of students in the wider Lancaster community, Janie said; “nowhere on the 2500 t-shirts distributed does it say ’student’, ‘Sugarhouse’, or ‘LUSU’ on them.”