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Reply to Miss Information: Sports Intiations

Originally Published 22 October 2003

The author of Miss Information is a genuine student. The responsibility for opinions expressed in the Miss Information column rests solely with the author, and publication does not constitute an endorsement by the University of the opinions expressed in the column.

We are however committed to giving both sides of the story and would like to stress the action taken by the Students' Union to ensure the safety of their members during social activity within sports clubs.

Lucy Whithorn, the Students' Union sabbatical Sports Officer explains:

All Clubs planning “Adoptions/ Initiations” are required to bring their plans for approval by the Sports Officer.

All Clubs have been made aware that they MUST adhere to the Equal Opportunities policy of the Students Union. This policy outlines a number of aims, governing principles, implementation procedures and sanctions. In particular, it is made clear that organizers of any Union activity are required “to actively promote an environment free from intimidation or victimisation on any grounds”.

Failure to adhere to the policy will mean the Clubs can be sanctioned in the following ways (as outlined by the policy):

  1. Fine and warning
  2. Withdrawal of all publicity and advertising
  3. Suspension of use of financial accounts
  4. Suspension or closure
  5. Any other sanction as deemed appropriate.

In particular we have highlighted that any event must not be solely based on alcohol consumption. If the event does involve alcohol, a non-alcoholic option MUST be available and openly promoted.

All organizers are aware that they cannot, and should not; force any member to do anything they do not want to do. This message should be made clear at the beginning of the event, and reiterated throughout. No one should be forced to do anything against his or her will.

Those Clubs and new members who do consume alcohol as part of their evening’s activities are encouraged (and often do as part of their tradition) to operate a ‘family/buddy’ system. This procedure will help to ensure the personal safety of all our members.