By Tania Chakraborti
Castle AFC has been banned from participating in all intercollegiate fixtures for the remainder of the academic year after two altercations during their club initiation on Monday 9th October.
During the social, individuals of the club exposed themselves to members of the public after stopping a vehicle at the zebra crossing on Church Street.
Another incident that same night involved two members making inappropriate comments to two female students in the Undercroft Bar of University College. Five to six students were implicated in altercations overall, resulting in the ban of 35 students and all three teams from the remaining intercollegiate fixtures this year.
An email sent out to all Castle football teams stated: “We unfortunately had two complaints made against us.
“The first was during our traditional zebra crossing shenanigans where the line was crossed, and the second involved certain members of the club being rude to two girls in the Undie.”
The email added: “Having said this, we should view the punishments as a wake up call as our socials should never lead to other members of the public feeling intimidated and certain conduct on the night was unacceptable.”
The mass email also stated the team plans to appeal on behalf of the club to the University and offered support for individual members who wished to appeal on their own behalf.
An anonymous member of Castle’s football team told Palatinate: “Obviously action had to be taken. The powers that be rightly have to be seen to take a stance against sexual violence and harassment of any kind, and making an example of the football team of the most renowned college at the university was the perfect opportunity.
“What I take issue with is that at least 95% of the club have done absolutely nothing wrong and have been punished too. Why not just ban those responsible from college bars and from playing rather than the entire team?”
Another member of the club, who also wished to remain anonymous, commented: “While we accept that a few individuals on the social made poor errors in judgement, we feel extremely harshly punished by the University.
“It is unfortunate that we have been used as a scapegoat to implement a University level agenda.
“That said, the club remains in good spirits, we have entered three teams into a local 6-a-side competition starting this weekend.
“The club will continue to function as normal and will return to the intercollegiate leagues next academic year with all teams competing for promotion.”
When contacted for comment, the University stated it did not comment on individual cases.
Photograph by Ieuan Jenkins via Flickr and Creative Commons