A recent decision made by the Plymouth University Student Union to ban The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express in a bid to rid the Student Shop over the so-called ‘hate speech’ delivered by the papers.
The University of St Mark & St John (Plymouth’s second University), however, have made a ‘lighthearted’ response to the debate currently dividing the Plymouth Uni students.
At a Press Conference held at the Marjon Main Campus, Elias McGill (Marjon SU President), Haden Tye (Marjon SU Vice-President) and Rachel Stevens (University Shop Manager) spoke about their claim to ban ‘Orange Juice with bits’ and the impacts of banning items in a shop.
About the claim to ban Orange Juice with Bits Elias had this to say: “The ban (of Orange Juice) is a counter argument to prove a point that you can’t ban something just because you don’t like it…it’s a novel way to prove a point”.
SU Vice-President Haden went a step further than Elias and stated that “Plymouth Uni are effectively making a statement saying we don’t trust our students to read it and not believe it”.
This relates to the fact that the papers were banned due to claimed ‘hate speech’ that has been published making the papers non-ethical to the University. Haden’s claims that the University doesn’t trust it’s students is a bold one, but one that is justified by the fact that they’re seemingly trying to shelter their students from the outside world.
Rachel, the University Shop Manager, relayed the facts that the Marjon shop “don’t sell many papers…maybe sell 4 ‘The Suns’ a day”. She also stated “if you don’t agree with it, you won’t buy it”. Although Marjon is a smaller University, this does represent the fact that not many people do buy papers anymore and Plymouth University banning them might not make much of a difference.
This point is backed up by Haden pointing out that Plymouth University is in the centre of the city meaning “you won’t have to walk far (to buy it) and it’s all online”.
When pressed about why the Marjon SU felt the need to respond to this issue that’s only related to Plymouth University, Elias had this to say: “Not a lot of real news happens at Marjon…very much welcome them (Plymouth Uni) to reply in a lighthearted way, we don’t want to start World War 3…they are offended that we’ve ‘taken the mick’, but that shouldn’t ruin our working relationship”.
Overall, Marjon takes the stance that the papers shouldn’t be banned as it would be just the same as banning Orange Juice with bits in. As Haden puts it “it’s educational to compare the papers”.