A team of engineers at the University of Waterloo who are building a race car have had their project shut down over a photograph taken of a woman in front of the car wearing a bikini and high heels. The students had been slated to take part in an international competition to be held in Michigan next month, but will be unable to because their suspension is effective until June 1.
The woman, who is a member of the team, was planning to submit the photo to a calendar that is apparently intended to promote intelligence and beauty, with partial proceeds going towards the Canadian Cancer Society. Several other members of student team were involved in the photo shoot as well.
Dean of engineering Adel Sedra has given two reasons for shutting down the project. In an initial statement to engineering students, he stated that the photographs were taken using university property without permission. “The suspension results from misuse of the Student Design Centre space for an unauthorized photo shoot involving the Formula SAE vehicle.”
Then in an interview with the Record on Thursday, Sedra spoke to the nature of the photos taken. “I believe the incident that took place can be thought of as denigrating to women.”