Following our statement regarding drink spiking and student safety, we have released an update regarding the Hail Scary and Final Whistle events due to take place on Wednesday 27th.
Following our statement released on Friday regarding drink spiking and student safety, we wanted to provide an update on our Session, Hail Mary and Final Whistle events due to take place on Wednesday 27th October at Drapers Bar & Kitchen and The Griff Inn.
As a Students’ Union, our priority is to ensure students wellbeing and safety, and that all students feel safe and heard. We have been deeply worried by the concerns some of our students have raised and the recent media coverage regarding drink spiking and gender-based violence. We take matters such as these extremely seriously. The ‘Girls Night In’ campaign has further highlighted these issues and the need for improved safety provisions on nights out everywhere. Whilst our on-campus venues have long established good safety records, as recognised by our Best Bar None awards and Good Night Out accreditation, we know that there is always more we can do to provide a safer experience for students in our venues.
On Monday, we held a meeting between Clubs & Societies leaders, part-time elected student officers and staff from our Drapers and Griff Inn teams. We want to thank everyone who attended, provided feedback and shared their suggestions. Following this meeting, we have collectively taken the decision to postpone the Hail Scary event. The Halloween Final Whistle event and Session will also be postponed. Both events will now take place on Wednesday 3rd November. The BL RAG Halloween Maze event will continue as planned. All tickets will be automatically valid for the rescheduled events, however if you are now no longer able to attend you can request a ticket refund by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The decision to postpone the events will allow us to reflect and review the existing safety measures we have in place to ensure we are doing everything as well as we can be. There are also several additional measures we want to put in place across our venues to ensure we are providing a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone attending our events, and we need time to implement these measures for our large events. These additional measures include but are not limited to;
- Retraining our externally provided core SIA accredited security teams so they know how to appropriately respond to issues and complaints when raised by students. Our staff team receive ongoing training as part of our Good Night Out accreditation, and this will be reviewed and continue.
- Providing drinks covers to use within our venues.
- Reviewing and introducing approved spiking testing kits.
- Providing clearer information, both within our venues and online, about how students can report incidents and access any support required.
- Providing additional communications to all students to reinforce and raise awareness of existing schemes we have in place in our venues such as the Ask for Angela scheme.
- Review of CCTV coverage within our venues
- Additional spot checks upon entry to our venues, including the use of metal detection equipment.
- Providing additional female security officers where possible, with female security staff present at all large events with more than 250 attendees.
- Reviewing visibility of security staff and the positions security are located in at our events.
- Introduction of a dedicated welfare officer and safe space area at each event.
- Introduction of new campaigns on safety and gender-based violence to run alongside our regular Club Nights and funded by ticket money.
- Water to now be given out on request, rather than being available in jugs at the bar.
- Welfare number to text during events in case you want to report something immediately.
- Reduced places where taking your drink with you is restricted.
We also have many existing measures in place to ensure student safety in our venues, but know we need to do more to improve the visibility of these to students. We are working on a student safety campaign that we will be releasing later this week.
By postponing Hail Mary and Final Whistle and taking the time to introduce these additional measures, we hope that students will be able to have a safer and more enjoyable experience on their night out with us.
Reporting & Support
We reiterate that we strongly condemn drink spiking. It is illegal, unacceptable and has no place in our society. Responsibility for spiking always rest solely with perpetrators – and victims are never at fault. We stand in solidarity with and support anyone who has been impacted by drink spiking, or by any form of gender-based violence, and remind everyone of the reporting and support options available to students;
Reporting in Students’ Union venues: If you would like to report something that you experience or witness in one of our venues, you can report to a member of staff who will escalate this to a supervisor. Our staff receive training from the Good Night Out campaign on how to respond to reports.
Report and Support: The University’s platform for reporting and accessing support for all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, harassment and hate crime. The platform also contains information about different forms of violence and external organisations and helplines.
Advice and Counselling Service: Confidential, professional advice and counselling support. Students can contact the service directly or request to speak to a Welfare Adviser through Report and Support.
Any cases of drink spiking can be reported to the police. If your safety, or that of others, is at immediate risk, please call the emergency services on 999. University security can be contacted in an emergency on 020 7882 3333.