Students entering university life have such decisions these days, whether to join the fraternities, the sororities, the political clubs, the special interest groups for artists, musicians, athletes and more.
And of course the support group for sex workers.
That was one of the choices given students at the University of Brighton in England, which was accused of encouraging prostitution after the sex workers’ support group was allowed to run a stall at a fair for newcomers.
The unaware university says it now will investigate,
It was the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project Sussex that was given a spot at the on-campus welcoming time for new students in Eastbourne.
“The move has been branded ‘beyond disgraceful’ by feminist activists, including one who said the sex trade has ‘become normalized and pimped to women as though it is a harmless and respectable way to earn a living,‘” us of London reported.
The sex workers’ organization describes itself as a “discreet and confidential” service for women in the sex industry.
It had promoted it goals on social media, telling students, “1 in 6 students does sex work or thinks about turning to sex work. We can help.”
The group continued, “If you’re topping up your fees with sex work, or struggling to balance work and studies, or want to talk and don’t know where to go … we’re here for you.”
A university spokesman denied the school promotes sex work to students and said the situation was being investigated.
Sarah Ditum, a feminist activist, told the Times of London, “This is essentially a grooming operation, pitching prostitution as a manageable, desirable lifestyle, equivalent to joining the rowing club.”
The student union that organized the fair said in a statement the group was there “to raise awareness of other specialist support they provide should it ever be needed.”
The , “It is incredibly irresponsible to promote an industry that is the cause of massive violence and exploitation against women.”
The institute cited a 2015 study by Swansea University that found that nearly 20 percent of students had considered prostitution to pay their bills, while 5 percent said they had sold their bodies at some point in their lives.
“In 2001 a study by the British Medical Journal found that in three cities, half of women involved in street prostitution reported having been subjected to violence in the previous six months,” the institute said.