Uni­ver­sity pledge on ini­ti­a­tions

Sunday Sun - - News -

Ed Farmer NEW­CAS­TLE Uni­ver­sity vowed to clamp down on ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­monies and warned stu­dents in­volved in them could be ex­pelled.

It says it has made changes to its sys­tems and put new pro­to­cols in place since the death of Ed Farmer in De­cem­ber 2016.

Ed, a 20-year-old eco­nom­ics stu­dent at the uni­ver­sity, died from ex­ces­sive drink­ing at an ini­ti­a­tion event in the city.

His dad Jeremy Farmer called for stu­dents in­volved in such cer­e­monies to be re­moved from uni­ver­sity.

Now Uni­ver­si­ties UK, which rep­re­sents in­sti­tu­tions across the coun­try, has started a work­ing group to set out guid­ance for the sec­tor on ini­ti­a­tions and haz­ing.

The group, which is made up of re­searchers, stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives, par­ents, uni­ver­sity lead­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tors, sports so­ci­eties and in­ter­na­tional good prac­tice, will re­fer to wider work on cam­pus cul­ture and al­co­hol.

And New­cas­tle is a ma­jor part of that group, with its vice-chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Chris Day act­ing as chair­man.

A uni­ver­sity spokesper­son said: “It is made very clear to all clubs and so­ci­eties that ini­ti­a­tions are banned by the uni­ver­sity, and that such events con­sti­tute se­ri­ous mis­con­duct. Any stu­dent found to have or­gan­ised an ini­ti­a­tion event could be ex­pelled un­der our dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dures.

“Fol­low­ing Ed’s death, we have made a num­ber of changes to ex­ist­ing sys­tems as well as putting new pro­to­cols in place.”

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