SUSU have released a public statement today, outlining the disciplinary action they are going to take against Southampton Men’s Hockey club, following an “unacceptable” and offensive email sent by the Club last term.
The Men’s Hockey Club are to publicly apologise, undergo equality and diversity training and pay a fine of around £500. The statement follows a disciplinary hearing last week, in which the club pled guilty to the charges of breaking University and Union rules, in addition the Club will also get involved in the #SotonSpeakUp campaign against sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviour during nights out.
The Disciplinary Committee, made up of 5 students drawn at random from Union Council, heard evidence from the Club and from the Union President before reaching their decision. In addition, the Council has stated how they must use the Union website to send out group emails in future, and are banned from having any socials in The Stag’s until Christmas. The disciplinary fines are to be donated to RAG.
In an official statement, Katie Lightowler, Vice-President Sports Development, said:
The email the Club sent out was a very disappointing read. This decision sends out a clear message that abuse of any kind, whether it is racist, homophobic, sexist or any other form, simply isn’t welcome in our sports clubs or the Student’s Union as a whole.
We want our sports clubs and societies to be a welcoming and fun environment from students from every background – and we know you can do this without also offending students. We’re not trying to stop clubs having fun on nights out, but to send out official club emails with these sort of comments absolutely crossed that line.
We look forward to working with Men’s Hockey Club next year on #SotonSpeakUp, and following several requests, the Union will be working with Clubs to put out guidance on what’s ok and what’s not ok for socials.
A member of the Hockey Club, who has asked to remain anonymous, said:
The action that SUSU has taken is fair and the Club regret the email completely.
However, although the member did express how he thought the Club were right to be punished, he stated how he thought SUSU were making an “unfair example” of the Hockey Club when allegedly much worse things happen within other AU Clubs.