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Students outraged by red light district party theme

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13:00 CET+01:00
Halmstad University's student union has drawn the ire of a number of students after arranging an event with a red light district theme, newspaper Hallandsposten reports.

The union hoped to shake students out of their winter torpor and onto the dancefloor in November when it advertised a party bearing "the mark of sin,"

But Gina Kling, who recently completed a course in gender studies at the university in western Sweden, was among a group of students appalled by the union's sex district theme.

"It's upsetting that they don't care about trafficking and the debasement of women," she told Hallandsposten.

Gina Kling joined forces with political science student Malin Nordblom to write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper expressing their disgust.

"I took up the issue in my class and everybody thought it was a good idea for us to protest against the union in a letter to the newspaper," said Kling.

The irate student said she would have expected the students' representatives to know better than to associate one of its parties with the sex trade.

"As soon as I saw the posters I thought they displayed a lack of respect. I actually ripped some of them down," said Kling.

But student union chairwoman Ulrika Sellman said it had never been their intention to in any way glorify prostitution or trafficking. The organizers had instead expected students to associate the theme with "neon lights, darkness and New York".

In fact, the red light district idea was a compromise solution after the union scrapped its original plans for a "pimps and hos" event.

"We decided it was a bit strong and could cause offence. Now that we have a lot of foreign students at the college, including Muslims, we put more and more thought into not causing offence," she told Hallandsposten.

Sellman said the union would hold a meeting on Monday to discuss wheter the furious reaction from some students would affect future events.

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