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Initiation ceremony students could be expelled

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: December 03, 2008

Initiation ceremony students could be expelled from the University of Gloucestershire
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Students involved in a booze-fuelled initiation ceremony which brought shame on Gloucestershire University could be expelled.

An investigation was launched by the university following last month's incident, in which a student vomited over himself and the floor of a Stagecoach bus he was travelling in after a rugby club initiation ceremony.

Passengers were forced to leave the bus in Churchdown while the driver cleaned up the mess.

All rugby club fixtures and activities were withdrawn as a result, but have now been resumed.

University spokesman Paul Drake confirmed the investigation had concluded and the three culprits had been identified.

He said: "Disciplinary meetings are now taking place."

It is not yet known what punishment the students could face but options include expulsion or a fine of up to £500.

Disciplinary action can be taken if a student breaks the university's Code of Conduct, which applies both on and off campus in such a way as to bring discredit upon the university.

Penalties also include paying compensation, conducting unpaid services for the university to a maximum of 40 hours, exclusion for a fixed period or a conditional discharge which requires an individual to adhere to certain conditions laid out by the university.

Appeal proceedings can also be lodged by an individual but the final decision would lie with the chair of the University Council.

The incident came just a few weeks after it was revealed students had been involved in 'Nazi-style' initiation ceremonies where first years were forced to drink lots of alcohol and wear bags over their heads.

Despite public outrage, the number of potential students visiting the university has increased.

Last year a university open day in October attracted 1,504. The event this year saw 1,776 attend – an increase of 18 per cent.

A spokesperson said: "Our outreach work is very good with schools in and around Gloucestershire so potential students know what courses we have to offer.

"Our position in university league tables has never been higher and that also helps to put us on the map.

"In addition we offer a cash incentive of £1,000 in the first year to those students who attend a school on our 'compact scheme,' which is aimed at raising awareness of higher education.

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    Anon, Cheltenham  |  December 04 2008, 2:18PM

    So Andy, you must have gone to a 3nd rate Uni as well then? Or have I got it wrong and did you mean 3rd or maybe 2nd rate? Honestly, this really isn't as bad as what happens in the town centre of a weekend, it's all a bit of fun and a few seem to have got carried away, was anyone hurt (apart from a headache the next day)? Lets not forget the similar antics the UK forces get up to, do they get these pathetic threats throw at them? Give them a break!

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    Andy, Pittville  |  December 04 2008, 12:32PM

    The problem with the Uni is that it is by and large populated by 3nd rate students doing 3nd rate degrees. 20 years ago they wouldn't have got a look in at a Uni with their grades until the advent of Micky Mouse courses. A lot of these students are not very bright, young and not good at holding their beer. Not a good combo. Glos Uni is NOT a centre of intellectual excellence, so let's not fool ourselves about the quality of student it attracts.

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    Paul, Cheltenham  |  December 04 2008, 11:12AM

    I suspect that the real problem the Uni has with this story is not that it happened, this sort of thing was happening there during my time there 12 years ago. It's more that it got reported and has embarrassed the Uni authorities, and on top of the other 'Nazi-style' initiation ceremony. It might be interesting to know if any of the Uni authorities already knew about this sort of thing and were turning a blind-eye to it. If so then they are equally culpable. Also, the Code of Conduct, I assume that each and every student is given a copy of it and signs something to say that they agree with it? Because I don't remember seeing a copy of it.

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    ATB, Nam  |  December 04 2008, 10:05AM

    Much of what big dave says makes sense. But remember that adults that 'got up to' no good in their youth also had to face the consequences. No reason why these students should be let off. 40 hours of voluntary services isn't going to hurt them.

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    anon, cheltenham  |  December 03 2008, 4:38PM

    I have a son at a Northern University and these initiation ceremonies are seen as a rite of passage if a student wants to represent the university in his chosen sport. They are not optional participation events and the rituals are well known. I cannot believe that any university is unaware that these rituals take place. If anyone should be punished it is the university themselves for turning a blind eye to the accepted behaviour of the students. The students themselves, new to university life are hardly in a position to change such traditions.

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    Dredd, chelt  |  December 03 2008, 4:03PM

    They should be made to write a 2 million word essay on Facism? and why we fought Adolf Hitler. Or given a jolly GOOD spanking and made to drink a whole bottle of vodka, Then made to do that crazy Russian Dancing till they puke...

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    big dave, glos  |  December 03 2008, 1:47PM

    once again people are living in their little nanny-state bubbles. Rugby inituations have been occuring since the game was invented. Ok ok so a student vomitted on a bus...big deal?! if he hadnt have been drinking, and it was simply travel sickness would you be reporting this story...i dnt think so. The matter of the fact is that it did happen, and it does happen......Yes i firmly beleive that it may have been wrong at the time, and that maybe compensation be paid to the bus driver...an hours worth of work maybe?! but quite where the university compares it to 40 hrs of service or a £500 fine...im clueless. ....Maybe the university are scared that this little influence will ruin their 'amazing' university reputation.....lol. My suggestion is that the university wake up and see what is actually happening in the world around them, rather then gettin caught up in all this political rubbish......I think some adults conveniently forget what they used to get up to in their youths.....

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    ATB, Nam  |  December 03 2008, 12:35PM

    Don't expel them, make them work off their debt. The 40 hours of unpaid work sounds like a good idea, along with a hefty fine (hit the parents in the pocket and that'll sort them out), a ban from participating in all uni sporting events, and a conditional discharge. Make them earn the right to be at university. If they don't like it then they can leave. If they fail to meet these conditions then they are expelled.

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    DG, Cheltenham  |  December 03 2008, 10:55AM

    Bet they are not expelled-think of the loss of fee and other money to the University!

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