Sun 25 Feb 2018
- The award-winning student news website of Imperial College

Know something you shouldn't? Tell us, using our quick, 100% anonymous tip-off form!

Live! - News

Ann Summers Heads to Imperial

Nov 16 2007 15:58
The Dark Knight
The Union will be holding an Ann Summers party as part of SHAG week, after deciding banning men from the event was not a breach of equal opportunities policy.
Everything you need for Christmas?

Last night the Representation and Welfare Board, chaired by Deputy President (Education & Welfare) Kirsty Patterson, finalised plans for this year's SHAG Week. Events during the week, running from 26th-30th November, will be supporting the Children With AIDS Charity (CWAC) and Positively Healthy UK.

On a local level, the thrust of the campaign will call for improved sexual health provision on the South Kensington campus and condom machines to be placed in halls.

The Reynolds Bar at Charing Cross will play host to the first events, with Speed Dating on Monday evening and Comedy Night on Tuesday. South Kensington will see events for the rest of the week, with a "Flash Mob" and Cake Sale on Upper Dalby Court at Wednesday lunchtime. Thursday evening will see a debate on the topic "This house believes that the law preventing illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers from free HIV treatment should be abolished". Friday lunchtime will see an "engineering competition", although no-one seems to know what that entails.

The week will reach its climax on Friday with a dual-header of events, comprising an Ann Summers party for the girls and pole dancing for the boys. Those Imperial guys keen to see what a real woman looks like in underwear will have to settle for the pole dancing: Ann Summers ban men from their events, something which the Union has concluded is in line with equal opportunities policy. The risk of harassment from hormonally charged geeks is thought to have been a contributing factor in the decision.

Email this Article | Share on Facebook | Print this Article

Discussion about “Ann Summers Heads to Imperial”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Nov 19 2007 09:31

this IS a breach of equal opportunities policies, and i hope someone makes a ruckus of it as it is quite pathetic that the union freaks havent been a bit more persuasive in landing a better deal with ann summers

Nov 19 2007 13:52

Yes it is, but WHO CARES? Like most of this equality s**t, it doesn't matter. Is any male at Imperial going to be disadvantaged or excluded by the decision? No. Stop whinging and let the ladies have their fun in peace.

Nov 19 2007 14:19

But if the decision went the other way and women were excluded there would be absolute uproar. The equal opportunities policy is there to ensure equal treatment, this shows that women are treated preferentially to men. The fact that people don't care is concerning, there is no such thing as positive discrimination, only discrimination.

If it doesn't matter that women can have events men are excluded from, should we not bring back the Honorary Pornographer position?

Nov 19 2007 15:18

Also, people should also realise that most gay men aren't interested in female strippers, ergot, one wonders what event they are getting as they do make up a significant portion of the student population.

Nov 19 2007 15:39

Sometimes exclusion is necessary to make an event enjoyable, and it is common sense to see that having men present at a 'girls night out' event would ruin it.

Similarly, some private members clubs and indeed two of the drinking clubs at IC exclude women from thier memberships - forcing equality where it is not wanted or needed is detrimental to an event or club.

Why not bring back the Pornographer position? Who would care, it's no secret that people enjoy porn (both men and women)

As for gays at IC, the IQ club organises events for them already. There is no equivalent 'straight club' for people who want to see some boobs!

Nov 19 2007 16:11

Where is the Equal Opportunities Policy?

The President of the Union has interpretative powers over the policies of the Union. In the case of the Equal Opportunities policy it is a delegated responsibility of the Deputy President (Education and Welfare). In this instance, as it was considered to be contentious, I further delegated this to the Representation and Welfare Board. They democratically and unanimously decided that the Ann Summers party was not against the Equal Opportunities policy.

To explain: The party consists of an chance for women to 'try before they buy'. Men are welcome to attend after the main part of the party has finished and are welcome to buy items and place orders. For the duartion of the party however, the room essentially becomes a female changing area and I hope that everyone would agree that for personal privacy reasons this is quite within the Equal Opportunities Policy.

I apologise to Ed. Originally we had planned to run a Speed Dating Night for IQ but I am informed that they regularly arrange their own and we ran out of time and money.

Nov 19 2007 16:34

To to be realistic: The drinking (tie) clubs are not affiliated to the Union, not under their control and not subject to their policies.

To [email protected]: The Equal Opportunities Policy may be found at

Interesting points to note:

It is a reserved power of Council so cannot be altered by any other committee.

And from the policy:

1. "...Discrimination and harassment are not tolerated in any area of Union activities."

2. "All... students will receive equal treatment regardless of... sex..."

7. "Any member or employee of the Union who fails to comply with this policy will be dealt with under the 'Removal of officers' and 'Removal of members' procedures outlined in the Clubs and Societies Policy, under the Union Disciplinary Procedure or under the Staff-Student Protocol."

As it is a reserved power, is has to be asked if the Representation and Welfare Board had the right to rule on whether the event breached the policy or not.

Nov 19 2007 17:17

There was an Ann Summers party three/four years back run by IC Virgins, and that was women only and caused no fuss.

Why is it a problem now? Are people bored, and just looking for something to complain about????

11. and   
Nov 19 2007 17:21

there is an exotic women pole dancing event going on at the same time - so its not like the men of imperial will be twiddling their thumbs - AND - its all in the name of charity - AND its ann summers rules not to allow men not some wierd idea made up by imperial

Nov 19 2007 17:31

The Equal Opps policy you are quoting is out of date. The correct copy is linked to from Ashley Brown's comment above.

Nov 19 2007 17:49

To @realist: Fair comment, the union website is out of date. All parts quoted remain in the current policy. (Although I prefer people speaking to me, not at me).

To and: The point is that Ann Summers rules are not compatible with out policy so we should not host thier events.

To Not a problem before: IC Virgins were not allowed to do the event, there was a problem, they just ignored the rule.

To Deputy President (Education and Welfare): Wasn't there one voting member of the board opposed? The decision should not have been taken by the board, it is a reserved power of council and should have been taken by council.

Nov 19 2007 18:02

In this case, does the principle matter more than letting people have a good time?

Union's way: The fine women of Imperial College are treated to a night of entertainment.

realist's way: The event is cancelled. Ann Summers do not come to Imperial.

Bloody hell realist, you'd rather follow rules to the letter than see people enjoy themselves. I bet you're a right laugh on a night out... "ooh look it's 20 minutes after drinking up time - lets leave right now chaps".

Nov 20 2007 05:28

I would love to see the out come if men were allowed into what has been described above as "essentially ... a female changing area" as some of you think is to the letter of the equal ops policy.

I'm not certain of the how the above is covere by the union rules, however it sounds very much as if the President (acting as the authority to interpretate the policy) has delagated the decision to the most appropriate stack holders ie: the Deputy President (Education and Welfare) and in turn the Representation and Welfare Board. The President could then have considered their opinion and chosen to go with or against it. The President has chosen to follow the advice of the board but still holds the responsibility of the decision so there is no question of whether the board had authority to make the decision.

The mention of the pole dancing event is irrelevant as no similar gender restriction applies, and as has been mentioned above the fact that the rule is set not by the union but by the external promoter (Anne Summers). A more appropriate analogy would be the Masonic Lodge events, where a male only gender restriction applies.

Please lets accept that it is unlikely that there are many males who have a genuine reason to wish to be admitted to an Anne Summers party (assuming you do not include, titilation at the expense of the comfort of those the event is aimed at)

were there a similar male only event to Anne Summers or a female only equivalant to the Masons then each sould be regarded as equal to their gender opposite counterpart, just as women don't play mens rugby but both teams are regarded as having equal right to exist.

Nov 20 2007 06:19

realist: Are you just upset that you can't go and watch the girls getting change?

Nov 20 2007 16:52

The event is a good idea and sounds like it will be fun and I don't know anyone who feels that the event should not go ahead.

However if you openly breach a policy once, can we do it again? When is breaching a policy not okay? Is it okay to say, it's for charity so its okay (the union is a charity, so not sure that arguement stands)? Has it now been established that all Ann Summers parties are okay? Are similar event that discriminate on sex okay? Are the Sabbs allowed to break rules that apply to other students/clubs/events, and if so why?

Nov 21 2007 18:21

Is there seriously going to be pole dancing? Have moral sensitivities slipped that low?

Nov 22 2007 11:11

Hahah, 'realist' is feeling harrassed knowing that he's not allowed to watch the girls change.

ICSM Hockey hosted an Ann Summers party last year, I'm pretty sure none of the male medics were bored/pedantic enough about that to even consider complaining.

So schools who teach the boys and girls separately, are they breaching equal opportunities policies?

Please get a life mr unrealist, and stop posting pointless retarded arguments on live!

Nov 22 2007 11:14

Ps I also think pole dancing is inappropriate. Not only is it vaguely patronising to the guys expected to lap it up (no pun intended!) but it's pretty damn derogatory to women as well.

women are sex objects, come entertain single male scientists at Imperial....

21. Ant   
Nov 22 2007 15:57

"So schools who teach the boys and girls separately, are they breaching equal opportunities policies?"

If that is what the schools own policy says then yes....

Although if you are a school that regularly teaches boys and girls seperately I doubt you would pass a policy to prevent it

22. Hmmm   
Nov 22 2007 16:00

After reading realist's posts, I believe that they are possibly written by somebody who is of the female gender... just a thought, before this discussion degenerates to playschool name calling, oh wait...


23. Hmmm   
Nov 22 2007 16:26

Also in response to "living in the 21st century"

This is has been discussed in two seperate meeting of RWB with objections being held in both, in relation to the event not conforming with the policy, not the event itself. Since the first objection was raised there have been two sessions of council with ample time before both in which ammendments to the equal ops SHOULD have been submitted to council... the democratic body which decides policy. If council did not see fit to pass the ammendments to allow the event to go ahead, then the event should not go ahead.

As I can't see any reason why the council would object to the ammendments; inserting a carefully worded clause that went along the lines "except when girls are trying on some knickers in an event" in line with the UK law, it could have been done easily.

This was not done and now it gives people room to question the policy, if you breach it once, the you can do it again. However the President may not have considered this, as it is still relatively early in the year, with a fairly green Sabb team.

In order to rectify the situation a clause should be presented to the next council, otherwise it leaves us with a fairly pointless policy. This should satisfy everbody, apart from the poor council attendees which will have two spend an extra 5 minutes rubber stamping the policy.

24. Kris   
Nov 23 2007 23:18

What are these "Girls" you speak of?

Nov 30 2007 15:58

Ann Summers and Pole Dancing Parties are TONIGHT!

Buy tickets on the door or advance from:

Free drink receptions and after party at both events.

Raising funds for Children with AIDs Charity and Positively Healthy UK.

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.


See Also

Live! Poll

How frequently would you like to see a CGCU magazine being published