News

Blog: No More Blurred Lines

Here at the SU, we take a zero-tolerance approach towards sexual harassment and assault.

As such, I am pleased to inform you that the song ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke has been banned from being played at any of our events and venues, after the Union's Management Committee approved a proposal put forward through our Bright Ideas platform last month.

Background

On 23 August, a student from Royal Holloway Feminism Society submitted a Bright Idea proposing to ban the playing of the song. The student outlined their reasoning as stated below:

This idea received 68 interactions ending with a positive score of 56 (62 ‘up’ votes and six ‘down’ votes). The proposal was taken to Management Committee who collectively approved the motion.

The Ban

The ban will be enforced for all RHSU event and venues, including bigger events such as Freshers’ Ball and Summer Ball, with the Venues Operations Manager (Events & Entertainment) providing a pre-event briefing to DJs and performers. If an anecdotal account is made by a student, of the song being played by a DJ within SU venues, the Venues team will reiterate the Union’s policy on this issue to the DJ and monitor any similar complaints by students in future events.

You also won’t hear the song played on Insanity Radio 103.2FM, the community radio station which is played across campus. This was due to a decision made by the previous board in 2013 to ban the song for the same reasons as above.

The Reaction

With the growing international and local movement, spurred on by the #MeToo campaign, we understand now more than ever that we need to demonstrate our commitment to zero-tolerance on this issue.

I reached out to Sophie Bury, President of Feminism Society, who gave her reaction on the news:

“We’re really happy that the Students’ Union has worked with us to get ‘Blurred Lines’ banned from playing at its venues. This demonstrates the SU’s commitment to opposing the dehumanising attitudes which ‘Blurred Lines’ presents, and challenging the use of language which is potentially distressing. We’re hopeful this will be the first of many actions taken this year to further tackle the issue of sexual violence on campus, and offer support to survivors.”

If you have any questions surrounding the ban, or would like to discuss any other similar issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Willow Wong // Vice President, Welfare & Diversity