Outrage as woke students ban Army from UK university in ‘absurd’ plot

The Bristol University student union has come under fire for its “absurd” decision to ban the Army from its annual freshers fair.

Some 13,000 Students attended the Bristol Freshers Fair yesterday, but among the more than 300 stalls pitching their societies, one name was missing.

In efforts to “disarm” their university, the Bristol University Student Union has banned the Bristol University Officers Training Corps (OTC) from their Freshers Fair.

This decision has proved highly controversial, with the union coming under fire from Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, saying this “absurd” ban was “indefensible” and would “deprive” students of the opportunity to explore a military career.

The OTC offers “internationally recognised leadership training”, which they argue is “highly sought after by numerous civilian employers”.

The OTC also stresses that, after completing the programme, there is “no obligation to join Regular Army or Army Reserves”.

The Student Union argued these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and that “groups like the OTC offer an experience (such as making friends, developing leadership skills and adventure activities) which is very similar to, and therefore in direct competition with, our affiliated student groups”.

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Abby Blackwell, 21, a member of Bristol’s OTC, questioned the supposed “open-mindedness” of the Student Union.

She argued this decision was the Union “imposing their anti-military views on their students” and expressed how “disappointed” she was that they had “been banned from the freshers’ fair”.

She believes that “talented individuals who may have loved a career in the Army might not have one now”.

This decision is not without precedent. Speaking to the Telegraph, a defence source said that OTCs, of which there are 21 across the UK, “have been known to be banned by Student Unions” before. They “aren’t always popular with the student body” or “left-wing liberal” Student Unions.

A spokesman for Bristol University said: “We respect our students’ right to raise concerns about issues they feel strongly about and we will continue to listen to and engage with their views.”

This decision has not stopped the OTC from trying to recruit. In response to their ban, they hosted a rival event “held at the same time and day as Bristol Fresher Fair” so interested students could still get an opportunity to see what they had to offer.

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