Volume 91, Issue 25

Thursday, October 9, 1997

about face


USC will not apologize for ad

By Brendan Howe
Gazette Staff

In an overwhelming vote last night, the University Students' Council decided not to apologize for an advertisement run in the Westernizer by an unofficial vote of 23-9.

The ad for Casualteez, promoting Diesel jeans, depicts a female teacher standing in front of a classroom of young children with part of her brassiere and cleavage exposed.

Education Councillor Karla Torrente raised her constituency's concerns about the ad's inappropriateness and later in the meeting put forward a motion that the USC apologize for offense taken over the ad.

All executive members of council voted "no" to the apology. USC President Ryan Parks said he was concerned an apology could set a precedent. But he said although he was not personally offended by the ad he could see how others may be.

He added this was a different situation from the earlier controversy between The Gazette and the Muslim Students' Association. "This is a very different issue from the MSA issue. The issue there was reprinting the cartoon," Parks said.

VP-communications Jamie Deans said his reasoning behind voting against the motion was once the USC starts apologizing it leads to a whole stream of things. He said he could not comment on the controversy about The Gazette apology.

"When I look at the Casualteez ad I see a Diesel jeans model wearing Diesel jeans," Deans said. He compared the controversy to the recent issue of uwOUT! having posters depicting sexual acts up during clubs week.

Torrente said she thinks the apology should come from the company as well as from the USC. "It's a slap in the face. In this day in age it's not appropriate," she said.

"How did this get into the Westernizer?" she asked Deans during the meeting. "This is not something I would expect in a student planner in 1997."

She said the faculty of education represents a large part of the student body and they should have been consulted about running the ad.

Diana Reynolds, USC equity officer and participant in a new Media Watch program, said they have already received complaints about the ad.

"I think it's degrading to women and I think it's a picture that shouldn't have gone in the Westernizer. People viewing the ads should have been responsible for making this decision."

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997