The University has officially defended its decision to invite Abercrombie and Fitch to a careers fair. The careers department issued a statement after 359 out of 459 students (78%) voted for the Uni to retract the invitation, in a survey conducted by Impact*.
The news that the company had been invited to campus was announced after their CEO had come under fire for saying he doesn’t want “larger people” wearing the brand. He has been criticised for promoting a negative body image and issued what the Huffington Post called a “semi-apology” yesterday.
Our students are adults and are able to make their own decisions about whether or not they engage with any particular organisation.
In the statement, the careers service said: “A&F is one of 40 employers attending the Summer Careers fair, has attended fairs in the past, and is popular with Nottingham students as a graduate recruiter.”
They added: “We do not think it is appropriate to withdraw the opportunities to those students interested in a possible career with this company on the basis of one person’s ill-considered remarks. Our students are adults and are able to make their own decisions about whether or not they engage with any particular organisation. As such, we don’t think it’s appropriate to rescind A&F’s registration at the fair.”
While two thirds of students said that the invite should be retracted, a number defended A&F’s attendance.
Calum Battersby, a third year economist, commented: “There are companies at the campus career fair that have said and done many worse things then insult fat people.”
He added that pulling the invite would be “excessive”.
Johnny Lawrence, a third year philosophy student said: “I think it is far worse to restrict students’ choices to choose where they may potentially want to work.”
However, second year sociologist, Will Hazell criticised the decision: “There should not be any room within this University for exclusive, preening vanity. If Abercrombie & Fitch wants to exclude people they deem to be ‘uncool’, then the University of Nottingham should exclude A&F.”
If Abercrombie & Fitch wants to exclude people they deem to be ‘uncool’, then the University of Nottingham should exclude A&F.
Sophie Thompson, a second year international media and communications student, said that company preys on young people’s insecurities: “That’s the last thing that should be encouraged by a good university.”
Third year English student, Kat Dixon suggested that it would be more effective to join a campaign to give the clothes to homeless people. A video which started the campaign, Abercrombie and Fitch Gets a Brand Readjustment, has attracted nearly six million views since it was launched on Monday. The company has been accused of burning faulty clothing rather than giving it away to charity.
*Figures accurate at the time of publication.