"Masturbation notice"

Steve Elibank made this Freedom of Information request to University of St Andrews

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
example at

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
the University.

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
tasteless message!

Yours faithfully,
Steve Elibank

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From: Niall Scott
University of St Andrews

Attachment image002.jpg
2K Download

Dear Steve


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.


Kind regards




[2]Description: cid:image001.jpg@01CBC924.208D2E00

Niall Scott
Director of Corporate Communications
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
Fife  KY169AL

Follow St Andrews news on Twitter [3]http://twitter.com/univofstandrews/

Tel:  +44 1334 462244
[mobile number]
E-mail: [4][email address]
Department Web: [5]http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pressoffice
600th Anniversary Web: [6]http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/600th/
University Web: [7]http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/

The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland : No


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Thomas Womack left an annotation ()

That's a nice response by the University :)

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Andy Platt left an annotation ()

Best FoI response I've ever seen. Hats off to that FoI officer!

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Mark Triggs left an annotation ()

Brilliant. Fair play to Niall. 1-0 to the corporate communicators!

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Steve Elibank left an annotation ()

Good job and quick as well!

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Michael McNeela left an annotation ()

Woo, go Niall! (great response!)

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eastpath left an annotation ()

This response is absolute class!

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Cro Page left an annotation ()

If only all foi requests were answered so promptly, fully and intelligently

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PG left an annotation ()

Steve Elibank, you are a total tool. A Google search would have told you the notice is fake, and you could have spared someone the tedium and cost of responding to your inane request.

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Alec O'Callaigh left an annotation ()

Evidently the joke passed well over your head, PG. You're either thick or humourless. Or both.

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Steve Elibank left an annotation ()

Hmm, PG. Niall from the University certainly sounded like his reply was (a) tedious and (b) expensive.

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ellen warren left an annotation ()

PG Naill obviously has a sense of humour, you might want to get yourself one!

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John Crisp left an annotation ()

The reply is fanatastic. The question was ridiculous.

Having read some of Mr Elibanks other requests, he is actually a serial time waster and costs the country a fortune.

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George Cant left an annotation ()

Well done for the reply by the uni

Very funny, you have put a smile on my face today.

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Rob Willis left an annotation ()

This is the first reply I've read from an FOI officer that sounds human.

Witty and intelligent, without hiding behind cut and paste responses.

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