Student costumes offensive to 'everyone'

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 05:00 23/09/2014

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A University of Canterbury student club has offended "everyone possible" with cars and costumes poking fun at women, Islam, Malaysia Airlines and the deadly ebola crisis.

The RoUndie 500, organised by the Engineering Society (Ensoc), has caused a stir with newly-formed feminist club FemSoc after its members saw a car showing images of about 30 women ranked by supposed desirability.

It was then discovered the club was encouraging participants to choose themes "the more inappropriate the better" on its Facebook page ahead of last weekend's event.

One of FemSoc's 400 members, Annamarie Moot, 20, said the event "ticked off every bad thing in the book".

There were also teams using themes around ebola, Malaysia Airlines and Islam.

"They're just offending everyone possible," Moot said.

She had heard some girls pictured on the car were friends of the team and would have known about it "but it's still very degrading".

The engineering society - the largest elective club on campus - had a list of previous offensive behaviours and "everyone [at FemSoc] is pretty offended" again, she said.

The feminist group would be taking their complaint to the students' association and university management.

The RoUndie 500 event is advertised on the Ensoc website as being "the successor of the UNDIE 500, which was once ranked in FHM's top 100 adventures of the world".

Students form carpools, dress in a theme and pub crawl around Canterbury in registered cars with sober drivers.

Ensoc president Guy Wilson referred The Press to the University of Canterbury Students' Association. UCSA president Sarah Platt said no official complaint had been made yet but would be taken seriously if one was.

What she had heard of the car themes "doesn't sound particularly tasteful".

The event organisers had to make the event safe and fun.

The Undie 500 had traditionally been run between Christchurch and Dunedin until regular troubles escalated in 2009, resulting in 69 arrests.

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- The Press

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