You’re in big f***ing trouble

– Undercover Exeposé cameras reveal EUAFC ‘Welcome Drinks’ scandal

– Initiation-style event breaks AU code of conduct on Uni premises

– Freshers intimidated, forced to drink alcohol and kiss dead eel

An undercover Exeposé investigation has revealed an AU club conducted an initiation-style ceremony at a University-owned establishment 
during Freshers’ Week.

The event, held at Cross Keys Bar
 on St. Luke’s campus and captured
 by an undercover reporter’s hidden
camera, appears to breach the AU’s
 code of conduct on multiple counts.

On Wednesday 17 September,
 The University of Exeter Athletic 
Football Club (EUAFC) held their annual
 ‘Welcome Drinks,’ where first
 years were forced to drink pints 
loaded with shots, tell sordid confessions
 about their sexual history and
 kiss a dead conger eel named Colin.

Upon arriving at the venue,
 first years were told to purchase
 drinks from the bar and sit on 
the floor, surrounded by ‘returners’
 in an intimidating fashion.

Members of EUAFC initially remained
 silent in the darkened room, 
before repeatedly shouting, chanting, 
mocking and swearing at around 80 
freshers, who looked visibly scared.
 First years were forced to 
‘bolt’ full pints, drink out of a
 shoe, put their tongue in an eel’s 
mouth and divulge sexual secrets
 to a room of complete strangers.

The club’s Social Secretary is caught on camera saying: “my name is Josh Hammond, I’m your Social Sec, and you are all going to do exactly what I say.”

Alongside other committee members, he led the proceedings, enforcing punishments for forgetting to ‘EG,’ using mobile phones, spilling drinks and not possessing a joker from a pack of cards. At one point he instructs first years: “you spill a drink on the fucking floor, you don’t waste alcohol in this club, you’re going to pour another pint into your fucking shoe and drink out of it.”

Hammond also goads one particular first year who consistently forgets to ‘EG’ – a practice involving tapping an empty glass to your chest – shouting: “have you learnt what an EG is yet? Well, you’re in fucking big trouble,” later adding: “if you throw up that’s good…You drink, you empty your stomach and you drink more.”

Unaware that Exeposé had obtained footage of the event, Hammond responded to a description of the events by claiming: “it is all wrong! We didn’t make first years do anything that (sic) didn’t want to do. They were never forced to drink or kiss an eel, I showed them an eel called Colin and some asked if they could kiss him whilst others followed suit.

“This story has so many incorrect facts and is purely ridiculous. You’ve clearly got this info from people word of mouth (sic). Your story has so many issues with it that it has very little truth.”

His denial contradicts both the footage and an earlier statement from the Club Captain, which read: “first years knew that they’d be drinking alcohol at the ‘Welcome Drinks,’ no one was forced to attend and the event was in no way an initiation into the club.

“Drinking out of a shoe if a drink is spilled is not unique to the football club, it’s something which almost all clubs and societies enforce. We asked the first years to introduce themselves and part of this was a confession… If they didn’t want to tell a confession they could tell a joke. Some first years may have felt that the atmosphere was coercive when having to do the introductions, however after the introductions were finished the atmosphere became a lot more relaxed.”

When asked about forced drinking at socials, he said: “we have a very specific set of rules and as long as freshers follow the rules they don’t have to drink.” He also confirmed that the club conduct initiations but claimed they “don’t involve drinking.”

The club tweeted a menacing picture from the venue prior to the event, which was captioned ‘Welcome Drinks.’

After the committee had introduced themselves and each ‘downed’ a pint, including the first team and Club Captains, first years were told to stand up one by one and tell the room how many girls they had slept with, as well as making a confession. These confessions were either jeered or cheered depending on their vulgarity. This was followed by the freshers drinking another pint, this time with shots of rum in.

The staff at the location, which has held the event for at least three years, facilitated the event, providing trays of shots to reduce queuing time.

Exeposé were unable to contact the venue for comment but a St. Luke’s staff member confirmed that staff are hired by The University for private functions at the venue.

It is widely believed that similar ceremonies are commonplace at some AU clubs, and it is thought that football are far from the worst offenders and that formal initiations are far more lurid.

The practice of initiations is banned by the AU, after a golf club member died at an event eight years ago.

The University and AU issued a joint statement which read: “we take the health and wellbeing of our students very seriously and have a number of established initiatives to challenge the perception that alcohol is integral to having a good time at university. All AU and Guild Society 
Committee members undertake alcohol
awareness training to promote
non-alcohol related social activities for
student clubs and societies. We work
 with venues and agencies on responsible
 drinking and licensing campaigns,
 hence all entertainment venues have 
free drinking water.

“Both The University and the
 Guild/AU operate strict codes of conduct 
that clearly prohibit initiation
 type activities and/or peer pressure 
to drink excessively at events, and neither
 condone nor tolerate this type of 
behaviour. All clubs and societies have
 signed a code of conduct in which they
 have agreed to behave responsibly 
in this regard; if the heads of clubs/
societies are found to be in breach of
 the code, both the Guild/AU and The 
University will institute disciplinary
“This alleged activity seems to be
 confined to a tiny minority of students,
 the vast majority of clubs and societies
 undertake their activities in a responsible, 
sensible, enjoyable and mature

Kate Hawkins, VP Welfare & Diversity,
 added: “Initiations or other forms 
of peer pressure are never OK. We
 have a very clear code of conduct that
 all student groups have to sign and if
 any breaches occur from any Guild 
group firm action will be taken by us
 to ensure it never happens again.”

James Beeson, Sports Editor, and Harrison Jones and Gemma Joyce, Editors


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