SWANSEA University sports officer Imogen Stanley has ruled out an investigation of anonymous claims that sports teams have been involved in forbidden initiation ceremonies.
New members signing up to teams have traditionally been encouraged to take part in initiations as a rite of passage.
Initiations are currently banned by the students’ union and teams must agree not to hold them, but reports have emerged that they are still taking place.
One intramural football team member, who asked to remain anonymous, explained what happened at his team’s initiation: “We had to down a can of beer, then a bottle of wine, then throw up into a bucket, swap buckets then drink each other’s sick, then do press ups, as many as we can, then arm wrestles, the losers in each had to suck a fart out of each other’s arses. We were all drunk by the time we had to do the more revolting things.”
When asked about why students agreed to take part, our source told us it was about “community, team spirit and all that”.
Eye witness reports described members of the Swansea men’s football team being dressed as butchers carrying “imitation meat cleavers covered in tin foil”, as they made their way to the initiation ceremony in Singleton Park.
Speaking to the Waterfront, an anonymous source said: “I was told they had to drink a litre of alcohol before being sick and peeing in a bucket. The contents of the bucket were thrown down a slide and they had to roll in it.”
Another source said that members of the women’s rugby team who were involved in an initiation had to consume “a shot of Aftershock through a tampon”.
Initiations were the subject of national news in 2006, when an Exeter student died whilst out on a night out as part of a golf initiation ceremony.
Swansea University sports teams have to sign an agreement not to carry out initiation ceremonies.
Imogen Stanley, the students’ union sports officer, said: “The students’ union asks all club committees to sign an agreement at the start of each academic year that ensures they will not participate in any activities which would make new or existing members feel uncomfortable or excluded from the club. If this agreement is broken then it is passed on to the university.
“If the students’ union is made aware of any such activity [initiations], appropriate action will be taken.
“As no complaint has been lodged with the students’ union no investigation will be taking place.
“If any students would like to make a complaint they can do so in person or in writing to any of the full time officers or the students’ union general manager.”
Owain Harries, head of intramural football, said: “All team captains have denied that any ‘initiation’ nights took place. The league fully condemns this sort of activity and believes it has no place in university sport. If strong evidence suggests that such a night took place, the teams responsible will be removed from the league with immediate effect.”
A university spokesperson said: “The Student Charter, which is drawn up by the university and the students’ union and which we expect all students to follow, states that as a student, you will: “Behave in a responsible manner in the local community and avoid activities likely to bring the university into disrepute.”
Last year’s president of the now-disbanded Athletics Union, Dan Ryan-Lowes, said: “We had no reported incidents and I was not aware of any. We had no complaints and nothing was visible to the rest of the student body or to me or the exec. So far as we were aware… out of sight, out of mind.”
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