Student fundraising

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

According to this BBC News report (requires Real Video) students at a German university have posed naked for a calendar to raise funds to ‘save’ the university.

Mmm… an interesting moral dilemma for any member of staff. Do you buy it and be accused of letchery, or refuse to buy it and be accused of not supporting the cause? I think I’d just make a donation and walk away.

Fortunately the students I teach have a much more practical way of raising cash – they organise some (apparently quite successful) nightclub events in town. Despite constant invitations I haven’t yet gone to one of these – maybe when teaching’s finished and I can’t be blackmailed with photos of my attempts at dancing.

Talking of naked students (er, that phrase won’t look good in the Google searches!) in my first job the annual ‘design a poster for the end of year exhibition’ competition was won by a third year who photographed apparently naked students with strategically placed portfolios (I’m sure it’s been done to death everywhere).

The treatment of the idea was quite amusing and novel – but college management were very nervous and began to tinker so much with the idea that the student involved became completely disillusioned with graphic design, and I very nearly resigned!

Funny how what’s unaceptable in one institution hardly raises an eyebrow in others – I’ve been to a few end of year fashion shows where topless dresses always seem to make an appearance (possibly something to do with saving money on cloth), and my boss tells a very funny story about how a group of government inspectors were visiting the university and having coffee in the cafe when a completely naked and gold student walked past the window, with absolutley nobody taking any notice at all.

Even the inspectors were blasĂ© about it, having quickly got used to ‘art and design ways of thinking’.

I remember another group of inspectors were visiting a fashion department once and heard how an increase in student numbers and a decline in space meant it was becoming impossible to make garments anymore.

“You could always specialise in baby clothes” one suggested…

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