Banning the Practice of Initiation Ceremonies Amongst Member Clubs of the Athletics Union (0304P2)

Status: Lapsed | Zone: Sports Development

Passed: 11/06/2007 | Lapsed: 04/02/2014

This policy was discussed at the following meetings:

  • Only one detailed study into hazing has been conducted, this being in a 1999 report by Alfred (N.Y.) University, ‘Initiation Rites in American High Schools: A National Survey’. The term initiation includes:
    “any act whether physical, mental, emotional, or psychological, which subjects another person, voluntarily or involuntarily, to anything that may abuse, mistreat, degrade, humiliate, harass, or intimidate him/her, or which may in any fashion compromise [a person’s] inherent dignity as a person”   (“forcing or requiring an individual to drink alcohol or any other substance” and “physical abuse of any kind” to “engaging in public stunts and buffoonery”
  • That in November 2001 during the Rugby Club initiation ceremony, players streaked naked across the Lacrosse pitch whilst a match was being played. This incident received publicity in The Sun, News of the World and The Times Educational supplement. Later the same day a more serious accident occurred when a member of the club attempted to drive home and turned his car. Both he and his passenger narrowly escaped being killed in the accident. The driver was arrested and prosecuted, receiving an 18 month ban and a fine of £150
  • Tiger de Souza the then VP Student Activities with the approval of AUC issued a ban on all initiation ceremonies with immediate effect
  • Freshers joining clubs within the Athletic Union are faced with immense peer pressure and a desire to conform to club tradition so as to become accepted within the club
  • That the practice of initiations is a dangerous and degrading exercise that jeopardises the safety of members of the Athletic Union and is a source of negative publicity for the Union
  • That individuals or clubs who actively promote or organise initiation ceremonies are breaching fundamental articles of the Human Rights Act 1998
  • That all students should be able and encouraged to participate in sport in an atmosphere free from discrimination or fear of physical danger
  • That the Union has a duty to protect the interests of its members
  • To ban all initiation ceremonies as defined in Union notes 1. above
  • That Student Activities Executive Committee can impose strict sanctions on any club undertaking initiation ceremonies
  • That in the most severe circumstances the VP Student Activities can undertake to suspend all functions of a club in breach of this policy, until such time as a meeting of the Student Activities Executive Committee
  • To educate committees and Freshers of our policy and to encourage wider participation within sport
  • To encourage tradition within the AU
  • For the VP Education and Welfare and VP Student Activities to jointly run an annual campaign to promote ‘safe drinking’
    Sorry, there are no Mandates for this policy