March 2013 saw the Brunel “LGBT people are a cancer” controversy followed by the Warwick SU president coming under fire for his sexist re-election video.  Here we are in November, having just received essentially the same amount of media coverage for a whimsical SU video in which nothing offensive was preached, no one’s liberties were breached, the world has formed an opinion of the Loughborough SU exec by taking a light-hearted Freshers week tradition dramatically out of context. 

For those of you observant enough to have considered the previous exec’s video efforts ( you will discover that this video is of the same ilk, virtually the only difference is the choice of song.  These videos are, as Loughborough SU president Josh Hurrell told Label, a ‘tongue-in-cheek way of introducing the exec and the Union to the incoming Freshers’.  In a week of alcohol fuelled fancy-dress, loose morals, mortal excess and fun, would a sombre, banal presentation of the Union’s members, achievements and assets have caught the attention of those in the clutches of one of the most exciting weeks of their lives?  I don’t think so.  No one seemed to have a problem with the video during Freshers week, it is only now that the world’s media have caught on the comments are being made.  For those expecting high-brow Verdi or Mark Rylance, I recommend an application to either Guildhall or RADA, they take that stuff a bit more seriously than a Loughborough student during Freshers week.

You can only lambast a video like this if it has not done the job it was designed to do, and all this video aimed for was to introduce the influx of Freshers to the Student Union in a light-hearted, frivolous way.  One commentator stated they would not be applying to Loughborough based solely on this video, you would have to say that anyone forming an opinion of a university based solely on a Freshers SU exec video does a gross misjustice to the academic reputation of the institute, the reputation of the SU and of its students.

In the spirit of Oscar Wilde, who once wrote ‘The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about’, we should probably ask ourselves what the problem is?  Josh further states that ‘now the UK and beyond know about the thousands of hours our students put into volunteering in the community, the millions of pounds we raise for charity and the sporting reputation that is unrivalled by any other students’ union in the country’, no publicity is bad publicity, like it or not, Loughborough Student Union’s reputation for sport, fundraising and student experience is enveloping the world’s attention.  You can’t tell me you haven’t had the chorus in your head for days, can you?

What do you think of the video? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us @labelonline

James Safford


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