By Laura Pitel UNION President Luke Tryl has been forced to apologise for a “preposterous” publicity campaign that has been accused of discriminating against women.The series of posters, found in the entrance to the main Union building and put up in college JCRs, includes photographs of Jeremy Clarkson, Michael Howard, Trevor McDonald, Boris Johnson, Pierce Brosnan and Winston Churchill, but not a single female speaker.The posters have been condemned by women and womens’ groups across the University. Maegan Chadwick-Dobson, PR Officer for Oxford Women in Politics (Oxwip) said, “Oxwip are dissapointed that the Union has decided to advertise itself in this way.“As a society that was set up in 2004, partly in response to the Union’s lack of female speakers, we feel that these advertisements both neglect the women who have addressed the Union over the years and, furthermore, dissuade a new cohort of female talent from making their contribution to the Society.”OUSU Vice President (Women) Hannah Roe criticised one of the posters that advertised “world statesmen from only £99”. She said, “Benazir Bhutto (twice elected Prime Minister of Pakistan) was actually a Union President, so there should be more awareness that women are heads of state too.“Many organisations put special provisions in place to ensure that their diversity is part of their practices and old-fashioned cultures are changed, from the ‘Women’s networks’ of the ABC companies to the Ministers for Women in different governments. “At the very least, I imagine the Union will now write some kind of guidelines for their advertising,” she added.Third-year Wadham student Naomi Hirst tore down the poster she found in her JCR. “It’s a preposterous image, giving a false image of not only the Union but, by extension, the University. It’s irritating that this is the image of the University that freshers are presented with,” she said.Hirst is not a member of the Union herself and said that she felt “vindicated” after seeing the posters. “This justifies every reason why I didn’t join,” she said.Union President Luke Tryl described the incident as “a mishap and an oversight”. He said, “It certainly doesn’t represent any kind of institutional bias within the Union.“I apologise for the oversight: it was organised by a junior officer, not myself, and we will be putting it right in future poster campaigns. I’m very keen that the Union is open and accessible. Three of our officers are women and we have equal numbers of male and female members.”President Elect Emily Partington also defended the Union, saying, “These days people don’t have to worry about feeling subjugated. If you look at the termcard you can see that there are a lot of women involved in the Union.”She claimed that being a woman had not impeded her rise within the Society in any way. “I’ve had incredible support from of a lot the men and women involved in the Union,” she said. The Michaelmas termcard details 14 male and 14 female speakers due to speak.Prominent women who have spoken at the Union in the past include Mother Theresa, Cherie Booth and Judi Dench.
The University of Southern Indiana is now accepting applications for the 2018 Eagle Innovation Business Model Competition (BIZCOM). Applications are open to the public, the USI community and students of all interests and will be accepted until Saturday, September 15.BIZCOM is a business-model competition designed to solicit innovative business ideas and connect those ideas to teams, mentors and resources to develop the business model. Each BIZCOM team must consist of at least one USI student.As a result of the 2017 competition, winners Dana Tang ’17, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from USI, and local entrepreneurs Edgar Hilton and Jenn Moorhead founded their app, JimBot which is now being tested in new markets.“We created an app that will allow gym members to make teams so they can compete, meet and chat with other members who have similar interests, such as a running team,” said Tang. “The app also allows members to check attendance within the gym.”“Working with Dana has been a complete pleasure! I’m ashamed to say that my first impression of Dana was that she was a shy and quiet college kid,” said Hilton. “But not much later I found out how truly off the mark I was. Even at an early stage, I learned Dana is one of those rare individuals who observe, calculate and take action.”Unique business ideas are encouraged, as BIZCOM is a great way for students to showcase their knowledge while connecting with people in the community. Students who may not have an idea but wish to contribute to a team are also encouraged to apply.“I would definitely recommend this to other students of any major!” said Tang. “The experience taught me about business, opened many doors of opportunity and gave me many great mentors.”BIZCOM semi-finals will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, October 19 in the USI Performance Center. Finals will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, November 2 in the USI Griffin Center.BIZCOM is one piece of a series of initiatives designed to inspire and cultivate innovation both on campus and in southwest Indiana. Participants in BIZCOM will have the opportunity to advance their potential business through USI’s programs such as the Eagle Innovation Accelerator and APPCOM, during the academic year.“We participated in APPCOM in 2016 and then joined BIZCOM in 2017,” said Tang. “APPCOM really helped us work on our pitch and app idea, so that we were more prepared for the BIZCOM competition.”Together, the Eagle Innovation programs give USI students, faculty and the community a platform to launch new ventures capable of growing the local economy and providing exciting opportunities for USI graduates.For more information about BIZCOM and to apply visit USI.edu/BIZCOM or email Josh McWilliams, technology commercialization coordinator, at [email protected] LinkEmail