Posted on Thu 03 Nov 2016 at 14:28 by Rusu Education Officer
In the most recent round of Change it! students voted to boycott BBC programme University Challenge.
This is due to misogynistic and sexist comments made to previous team members of the University of Reading team by Jeremy Paxman. This incident resulted in a complaint being filed by contestants. The response from ITV, the company that produces (although doesn't air) the famous quiz show, was that they would inform Paxman that he had offended a contestant. They did not issue a formal apology and they did not produce any consolation to the contestants. Misogyny and sexism are not about 'offending' contestants, but undermining and oppressing individuals due to their gender. In such a historical and respected institution as University Challenge, these forms of oppression should not be taken lightly. Serious investigations and repercussions must be made to ensure women feel comfortable participating in University Challenge.
Students have voted for the RUSU to boycott the television programme. This means the Students' Union is now finding a department in the University to take over the submission of the University of Readings team. The Students' Union should not be in a position to promote and encourage students to participate in an institution with a serious lack of regard for the equality and accessibility of women on their show.
Reading University Students' Union welcomes communication with University Challenge on how they will ensure complaints of this nature are dealt with properly, so we can ensure our students are not faced with misogynistic and sexist abuse again.