Why would colleges want to ban a tabloid style paper from campus? Because it’s been deemed too offensive for the students. Unreal.

Rehema Figueiredo of Leeds Student Newspaper writes at The Guardian.

Why banning the Sun on university campuses is wrong

Just before Christmas my students’ union removed from sale the national newspaper with the second largest circulation in the country. Suprisingly, this was a decision that was taken with relatively little opposition.

Leeds joined 29 other university campuses that have chosen to remove the Sun from sale (the most recent being Staffordshire), deeming it too offensive for the general consumption of its students. Of course there may be a multitude of reasons why the broadly leftwing student body finds the Sun unacceptable, from its treatment of asylum seekers and its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, to its Page 3.

As a commercial decision, its removal from sale makes sense for the students’ unions. Unlike the Guardian and the Times, which offer a subsidised price to students, the Sun knows its audience lies elsewhere and doesn’t need to convert the student masses. Out of a print run of 2m, the loss of seven copies sold each week on Leeds’ campus to university staff members is not going to have any impact on David Dinsmore’s editorial choices.

What is concerning is that the decision had nothing to do with sales but was taken by a small group of students with a strong agenda. Banning a national newspaper is a decision that must be taken by the majority. Those in student politics like to think of it as a more effective microcosm of Westminster, but this often looks like action at the expense of democracy. At Leeds, previous similar ideas have had a mixed response.

The banning of lads mags was rejected at the first stage of consideration, while Robin Thicke’s number one single Blurred Lines was censored without consultation.