Lad culture ‘no joke’ in SU

Sabbatical officers and guests at the anti-lad policy campaign launch

Cardiff Students’ Union has launched a new anti-lad culture policy, after joining forces with the NUS, South Wales police and local politicians.

The launch of the ‘It’s No Joke’ policy took place last Friday at the Students’ Union, and saw students, the NUS Women’s Officer and Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens in attendance.

After being selected as one of nine UK Unions to take part, Cardiff SU will pilot the national NUS scheme. After spending eight months conducting research and targeting areas for improvement, ‘It’s No Joke’ will work to tackle lad culture and create an inclusive campus for all students.

This follows after the University and Students’ Union launched their ‘Can’t Touch This’ policy last March to emphasise their zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment.

On the website it states that “no student should have to accept” behaviour such as groping, catcalling and unwanted sexual comments.

Speaking about the event’s success, Claire Blakeway, Students’ Union President said:“I was delighted to see such a high attendance from a diverse range of student groups today at the launch. I can’t wait to see these students amongst others be champions for change, creating an even more safe and inclusive community on campus.”

Defined by the NUS as a “pack mentality”, links have been made with lad culture and activities such as “sport and heavy alcohol consumption”.The NUS has also stressed the problems associated with ‘banter’ labelled as “often sexist, misogynist and homophobic”.

However, despite the NUS’ links between lad culture and sports, Cardiff SU has made sure to stress the importance of educating all clubs and not simply teams such as football and rugby.

As part of the scheme, Union nights such as YOLO and Flux will benefit from ‘club hosts’ in future to ensure that potential issues and abusive behaviour is identified. Compromised of student volunteers, it was confirmed that club hosts will receive extensive training before starting their roles.

Other areas of the policy will seek to help both male and female students suffering form domestic abuse, and includes building relationship with a Glamorgan help centre.

South Wales Police also reassured those at the event that Cathays has seen a rise in security in student areas. This follows after a joint summit was held last year between Cardiff University and the police proclaiming that a “crackdown on laddish culture” is high on the agenda.

During the summit “laddish culture” was also associated with the sexual assaults that took place in September. However, such a suggestion was not received well by all, especially given that a 40 year old man has been arrested for 12 years after pleading guilty to one of the incidents.

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