Rome university chief blasted for ‘Miss University’ pageant

Jun 3, 2015, 9:19 AM

ROME (AP) — Some of Italy’s top female academics are demanding an apology from the president of the University of Rome for participating in the jury of a “Miss University” pageant to select the “most beautiful and wise” university student for 2015.

Eugenio Gaudio headed the pageant jury, in which participants submitted information about their majors and grades — along with their height, bust and waist size.

A dozen female professors led by economist Mariana Mazzucato of the University of Sussex wrote an open letter to Gaudio saying his participation represented a “scandalous stain” on the university and “demonstrates how backward our society is.”

“In a context in which Italy’s international reputation is more linked to ‘bunga bunga’ than its enormous scientific and cultural heritage, your participation in the event has only served to diminish the fundamental role of universities and women in Italy,” they wrote in La Repubblica newspaper.

It was a reference to ex-Premier Silvio Berluscon’s famous sex-fueled “bunga bunga” parties, which sealed Italy’s reputation as a country where beautiful showgirls not only dominate pop culture but the political landscape as well.

Gaudio refused to apologize, noting that his two predecessors also participated in the pageant and that, regardless, the contestants “were not in bathing suits but in evening dresses.”

“My participation is a way to be close to the students and took place in full respect for the girls,” he said, adding that his secretary had given “careful study to the matter.”

The pageant was sponsored by a Rome beauty center that bills itself as a leading Italian cosmetic surgery firm. All participants received a complimentary “coupon” for treatment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World News

(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
29 days ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
3 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
3 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago
Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press. The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Rome university chief blasted for ‘Miss University’ pageant