1.1 Members or potential members of a club or society (a type of ‘group’ as defined by the core constitution) are known to host welcome events. These are sometimes referred to as ‘Initiations’, these social events can broadly be described in two ways:
1.1.1 The first description is as a fun, welcome event which does not cause any harm or pressure towards a student, and is not deemed as a necessity to part take in or to gain entry to a student group.
1.1.2 However, an initiation is described as an event which involves peer pressure, (though not always explicitly) exerted on students. The events pressure students to partake in tasks that (for example) can potentially compromise a person’s inherent dignity, by forcing or requiring an individual to drink considerable amounts of alcohol, eat mixtures of various food items, or any other behavior that may be deemed embarrassing.
1.2 Use of the word ‘initiation(s)’ in advertising of an event is banned due to the behaviors associated with the term that can be off putting to students and prevent participation in that student group.
1.2.1 Initiation ceremonies do not require explicit branding with the words ‘initiation’ or ‘ceremony’ to be deemed as within the remit of this policy. The final adjudicator on such decisions will be the VP Activity, who may consult the Activity Zone for advice and input. If the VP Activity and Student Activities Manager or Union Executive deem an event to fall under this policy, all rules would be applied.
2. Preparatory Measures
2.1 An annual risk assessment must be completed by the groups’ committee planning to undertake the social, in order to ascertain the safety of the event; this will then be passed or declined by the Student Activities Manager after consultation with the VP Activity and / or Union Executive.
2.2 At all times a responsible person or persons will oversee the event. This person will be sober at all times during the event, and will be responsible for the adherence to this policy. This person or persons should intervene if a rule is felt to be in breach or if the health and or safety of a participant is at risk.
3. Substantive Rules
3.1 All individuals should be made aware that the event is not compulsory and that they have the right not to participate; a choice which will have no bearing on their admittance or selection for the club/society. All groups should be all inclusive at all times, including during social activities. Social activities must be organised in a safe manner without fear of harassment or bullying.
3.1.1 Substantially, it will be made clear, through any means possible, that “if you choose not to participate in any club or other social activity, this will have no bearing on your admittance or selection for the club or teams within that club“
3.2 Any non-participants should be treated respectfully. No peer pressure or bullying should be applied. If a student feels they feel they are subject to peer pressure and/or bullying they may report this to the Students’ Union, via University Security or via the reporting function of MySurrey (Report & Support). Allegations will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken – see section 4.0 below
3.2.1 Where alcohol is involved, a non-alcoholic alternative must be provided.
4.1 Breaches of this policy may result in groups being subject to the Union’s disciplinary procedures. For sports clubs this may constitute a sporting disciplinary.
4.2 In some cases there may be cause to escalate individual students to the University and for the matter to be considered under the University’s Student Disciplinary Regulations. This could result in suspension or expulsion from the University.