Students’ unions have condemned a controversial pub crawl set to come to Lancaster next month with the fancy dress theme ‘pimps and hoes’.
The Carnage UK night, part of a national tour, will be held on Thursday, November 8.
Last week female councillors on Liverpool Council said the theme promoted sexism, exploitation and sexual degradation of women.
Now both Lancaster and Cumbria university’s students’ unions have criticised the event and said the night promoted “irresponsible drinking”.
But Varsity Leisure Group (VLG) which owns Carnage UK, denied the allegations and said the theme had been chosen by students in a poll.
The night comes after fears over irresponsible drinking in the city were raised when Gaby Scanlon, 18, from Heysham, was lucky to escape with her life after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.
The sixth form student had to have her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail at Oscar’s Wine Bar and Bistro in George Street.
Adam Lewis, research and communications coordinator of the Students’ Union of the University of Cumbria, said it had sent out emails reminding members of its stance on safe drinking last week.
He added: “The official National Union of Students position is that we actively discourage students from attending Carnage UK events.
“We do not believe the events are healthy and they are not in any way reflective of our principles and values as a student union. It is regrettable that it is coming to Lancaster and we completely understand and appreciate the local concerns, particularly from residents like women’s groups.”
Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria said they were “wholly supportive” of their Students’ Unions.
Students have to buy a ticket to attend the event and £8 T-shirts are being sold by businesses including bars such as Yates’s in Church Street, Revolution in Penny Street and the takeaway Starvin Marvin in Brock Street.
In 2010, a student at a Carnage event was captured on camera urinating on a cenotaph in Southampton.
However, Lancashire Police said it had not experienced problems with Carnage UK events in Lancaster in the past.
Inspector Sheralee Duckworth said: “We are working with the organisers and have a policing plan in place, but previous events in Lancaster have passed off without incident and we have no particular issues of concern.”
A VLG spokesman said: “We utterly refute that our proposed event promotes ‘sexual degradation’. Similarly, we refute that our event promotes ‘irresponsible drinking’.
“Pimps and hoes is a common fancy dress theme and was chosen by students. It is not compulsory to attend.”
He said VLG had liaised with the police and was paying for security staff and coach transport back to campuses to ensure its guests’ safety.
He added: “This is a fun fancy dress student event. VLG hopes that the students have an enjoyable evening and that the local economy can enjoy an uplift, at a time of recession, on what would otherwise be a quiet night in Lancaster City Centre, when there would be little or no trade at all.”