British lap dancing club boss urges students to strip to pay for degrees
THE BOSS of lap dancing company Spearmint Rhino has suggested hard-up students should consider stripping as a way to pay for university tuition fees.
John Specht, UK vice president of the company, said female students could earn good money while having "fun" working in lap dancing clubs.
His comments have sparked fierce criticism from student leaders who blame the British government for forcing undergraduates into stripping to make ends meet.
Mr Specht said: "These girls earn a lot. Some of these girls are on their own and their parents can't help them or are unable to help them.
"With the rising student fees the students know that they can come in and earn the money they need to survive.
"Why not ? We don't force anyone to come in. If the girls are looking do this type of entertainment and make good money in a safe, fun environment and enjoy their work then why not.
"The students know they can come in and earn the money they need. Times get harder and things go up people will turn to alternative means of income to earn money.
" At least at Spearmint Rhino we are a world known brand, it's a fun safe environment and they could be doing a lot worse things."
One Sheffield student, Jilly studying for a law degree with hopes of becoming a commercial lawyer, dances at the club in the city.
She said : "I came to Spearmint Rhino two years ago. I came and I thought it was a really nice atmosphere it's nothing like what is portrayed by the media especially in music videos, it's totally different and I like it.
"It was a way for me to cover most of my bills whilst working at the university. I am studying Law and I want to be a corporate lawyer.
"I worry massively that somebody might find out that I've done this and it might affect my career but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
"There's no point in worrying about these things until they actually happen. Hopefully if it does happen I've got the necessary skills to explain that I am a student at university and I've got overheads ask what would you do if you were in my shoes?."
Estelle Hart, NUS women's officer, said:"I think the government has got some questions to answer about why students are turning to what is quite a dangerous job .
"It's sad that the government have thoughtlessly cut quite a lot of money from education and have done nothing to improve the maintenance situation for students and students are forced into doing work like that.
"One thing that is disturbing is that you have the vice president of this massive company and he's quite happy that student fees are going up .
"The more that are in debt he get more people working at his strip clubs which he does admit that for most people is a last resort.
"I don't think that something that is safe normal and friendly is a last resort when they are desperate for money.
"The money you earn from it isn't that good because you pay a fee to work in the strip club you're not employed. Most of these places impose arbitrary fines on the women who work there.
"As a one off fee they might earn a few hundred pounds a night but for most women it's actually a real incredibly hard job.
"Essentially you're paying to work there where you can be fined for hair being out of place, clothes being out of place or not looking quite right.
"This sort of myth that it's easy money really is just that -- a myth.What we should be talking about is the system where fees are going up and also the cost of living has got higher and there has been no change to maintenance loans .
"The sort of idea that in order for women to work they have got to look and act a certain way and be sexually available and attractive to men is actually quite upsetting.
"I think it is particularly sad with university students when we should be talking about their academic achievements not how they look based on a narrow idea of what's good looking created by the executive of massive strip clubs."