Report: Race team punished over racy pic

BY foxsports • April 15, 2011

The University of Waterloo in Canada has suspended a team of students who built a race car after a female member was photographed posing next to it in a bikini and high heels, reported Friday.

University spokesman Michael Strickland said the temporary suspension is in response to an "inappropriate and denigrating" photograph that appeared online, as well as in Tuesday's edition of the Waterloo Region Record.

"The decision also considered the guidelines in place to ensure the safety of students," Strickland wrote in an email. "The university's engineering design center, where the photo was taken, has rules covering the type of equipment that can be brought in as well as the manner in which it can be used."

Students on the Formula SAE team will be unable to enter the car in an international contest to be held in Michigan next month since the suspension lasts until June 1, the Waterloo Region Record reported.

In a memo sent to all engineering students, Adel Sedra, dean of engineering, said the suspension through June 1 stems from "misuse of the student design center space for an unauthorized photo shoot" involving the Formula SAE vehicle.

Sedra praised the "remarkable work" of student teams and assured students they would still receive credit for their work.

Steve Lambert, the group's faculty adviser, told the newspaper that students — 30 of whom were planning to travel to Michigan for the contest — were "obviously" disappointed.

"One of the bitter ironies of the present situation is that the photo shoot was intended to promote women," Lambert said in a statement on the group's website.

The woman depicted in the photo was a key member of the team, Lambert said. She was entering a contest to appear in a calendar to raise money for charity and needed the photo as part of her application, he said.

"I knew that particular student, and she had been thinking about whether she could be feminine and an engineer at the same time," Lambert said.

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