Arts Soc and B&L fine: the judgement in full


Ruling of the Recognition Committee of the Societies Council & Academic Council
1 October 2009

The Committee convened to examine, inter alia, the Arts Society and Business & Legal Society poster for their joint event ‘The Virgin Ball’ and to review various matters arising from the proposed event.


The Committee discussed a number of issues raised by the poster.

The Committee considered that the poster was objectionable and crude. The Committee further considered that the countenancing of holding an event with such a title was also in breach of the basic standards of propriety and consideration that should be upheld by any student society. The Committee considered that the message conveyed by the poster was insidious and dangerous, and that it constituted a deliberate act of emotional manipulation designed to prey on the fears and worries of students at an especially vulnerable time in their University career. The Committee decided that there was a very real danger of the poster triggering significant harm to members of the University community.

The Committee rejected absolutely the defence offered by the Society [sic] for their actions, and found that the message conveyed by the poster was entirely intentional and premeditated and was in no way accidental.

For their actions in conceiving such an event, for postulating the message conveyed by the poster and for offering a mendacious defence, the Committee ruled that the Business & Legal Society and the Arts Society would be liable for a fine of 5000euro, to be paid to the Student Welfare Fund and to be split evenly between the two societies.

Both societies are also warned as to their future conduct in this regard.

Finally, the Committee ruled that, in this instance, the full judgment of the Recognition Committee would be made public.

For, and on behalf of, the Committee,

Secretary to the Committee

5 October 2009