The request was successful.
From: Steve Elibank
Dear University of St Andrews,
This Freedom of Information request concerns the "masturbation
notice" allegedly created by the University of St Andrews, and
which has been floating around the Internet for a while; see one
1) Please inform me of whether or not the notice is genuine, and if
it is genuine, of how many copies are currently on display around
2) Please provide me with an electronic copy of all internal
correspondence regarding the decision to create the notices.
Incidentally, if the answer to question (1) is that the notice is
an Internet forgery, then I must apologise for this rather
From: Niall Scott
University of St Andrews
Thank you for your FoI Request re “Masturbation Notice”.
The notice to which you refer is not an official university notice. It was
a student prank, and regrettably not even an original prank. The notice
appears to be a copycat issue of a similar text which appeared recently at
Durham and Lancaster universities and a number of universities in the
States. A quick check on Google should give you more information about
these incidents should you require it.
A strong clue that the notice is fake is the line “Please go home and
masturbate if you are bored.” As a matter of policy, the University would
never encourage students to go home during term time.
I understand that two copies of the notice were attached, with chewing
gum, to doors of the male toilets in the University of St Andrews Main
Library on or about the afternoon of Sunday November 13^th 2011. The
notices were removed by Library staff shortly afterwards.
Far from having a policy on masturbation or outlawing the practice, as the
bogus notice alleged, the University encourages the study of it,
academically at least. Among the titles in the University Library is
“Solitary Sex : A Cultural History of Masturbation” by Thomas Walter
Laqueur, pub Zone Books, New York, 2003.
Available from the short loan section, and as of 3 p.m. this afternoon,
one copy still available to borrow.
I trust this answers your request, but if you require any further
information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Director of Corporate Communications
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
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