Student berated for nude pics

Paul O'Mahony
Paul O'Mahony - [email protected] • 14 May, 2007 Updated Mon 14 May 2007 13:02 CEST

A female psychology student has reported Gothenburg University to the Justice Ombudsman after staff at the institution reprimanded her for posing for a pornographic magazine.


She has also reported the matter to the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket), newspaper GT reports.

Although Lisa has worked as a model before, it was not until late last year that she first posed naked for a pornographic magazine.

Lisa's name and age were changed for the pictures, which are said not to have been explicit.

But when the magazine was published in March, a copy was placed in the post box of one of the course directors and Lisa was promptly called to a meeting.

"He threw the magazine down in front of me and shouted: 'did you pose for this?' The atmosphere was incredibly threatening," Lisa told GT.

The second head lecturer called for Lisa to give a public explanation in front of her classmates and to see a counsellor.

"They must have studied every picture in the magazine just to recognize me. I had coloured lenses and there was just a tiny picture of me on the front cover.

"What's more, it's a specialist magazine that you can't buy in the shops," said Lisa.

A few days after the meeting, Lisa was requested to appear in front of the deputy head of department. There she was told her that she would not be sent on work experience with the rest of the class later in the year.

Since she was not considered suitable for contact with the general public, some tasks would instead be found for her at the university.

"He gave me a lecture on morals," said Lisa.

Speaking to GT, the head of department stands by both his own actions and those of his colleagues.

"Our profession is all about conversations. The lecturers wanted to hear her reasoning on the matter.

"I don't feel that I have discredited her, but I have certainly questioned the action itself," said Erland Hjelmquist.

As a budding psychologist, he thinks that she should have displayed more maturity.

"Posing like this raises questions about her way of reflecting on the course content as well as her way of viewing her own self-image," said Hjelmquist.

But Christian Sjöstrand, a legal expert at the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, takes a very different view.

"The university's job is to judge how the students perform on the course, not what they do in their free time. Posing for this magazine should not affect her chances of getting work experience," Sjöstrand told GT.

If the agency finds that the university acted inappropriately, the individuals concerned will have to explain how they intending assisting Lisa in the future.

"I know that they have no right to get involved in my private life, the life of an adult student. They are not following any laws or rules; they have their own way of dealing with matters. They are guilty of misconduct," said Lisa.


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