University does “not tolerate initiation ceremonies of any sort”


Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, has said that the University does “not tolerate initiation ceremonies of any sort.”

The was made in light of the death of Newcastle University student Ed Farmer, 20, who died in hospital in December 2016 following a cardiac arrest caused by the consumption of excess alcohol.

Farmer was taken into hospital an “initiation-style” bar crawl for the Newcastle University’s Agricultural Society, during which a round of 100 triple vodkas had been ordered at one of the pubs on the bar crawl.

Mr Farmer’s family have criticised Newcastle University over its stance towards initiation-style events.

“Ed’s is not the first utterly needless and wasteful death to come about through this potentially fatal practice,” he said. Newcastle University said it would be “reflecting carefully on all that we have learned at the inquest.”

An anonymous student told Palatinate of a “humiliating” initiations experience back in May, which involved head shaving, incidents of nudity and forced consumption of large quantities of alcohol.

“The events of preseason almost led me to drop out of the University before I had even experienced freshers’ week”.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor added that the club that organised said initiation ceremony, in which a student had oil poured into his eye, had been fined and players were suspended from playing competitively.

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

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