A student at Durham University has told how he had his ‘hair shaved off and cooking oil poured in his eye’ during a bizarre and draconian-sounding initiation ceremony to a sport club. The student was speaking anonymously to the University’s newspaper Palatinate, and told how he considered dropping out of the University before beginning his studies due to the initiation. This is far from the first time that University clubs and societies have come under fire for conducting initiation ceremonies. Read on for more.
The student told how he and other new players had to undertake five initiation ‘stations’ in order to join the Sports Club. These stations involved drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and stripping naked – under the order of senior members of the club. One station saw players drinking alcohol, while having cooking oil poured in their eyes. At a different event, just a matter of days later, a drinking game took place, which saw the losing team have their hair shaved off.
The student said how he considered dropping out of the University because of the initiation. He went on to say that the environment within the club was ‘toxic’, before stating that it would be impossible to participate for the club without ‘continual bullying and abuse’. If his accusations are true, then serious questions could be asked of the intentions of the sports club.
The student in question had previously played the unnamed sport at international level. It appears the club prioritised the initiation over success – a questionable stance by any club.
Team Durham investigated the complaint. The Club Captain stated he would ‘challenge the notion’ that perspective members had to take part in such initiations.
Yet this is far from an isolated case, with several Universities around the United Kingdom being subjected to criticism regarding inappropriate initiation ceremonies at clubs and societies.
Durham University went on to confirm that they don’t accept ‘initiation ceremonies of any sort’. They stated they would penalise clubs organising such activities, with clubs clearly breaching the University’s Code of Conduct.
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Such news being released is a shame for what is such a well-renowned University. Unfortunately, such initiation ceremonies are commonplace at Universities, with most simply ignored, with students eager to participate/join clubs and societies.