Drinking Soc Invades Law Exam

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Above the law? A Criminal Law exam on Saturday featured a question about a fictional drinking society's initiation ceremony.

A Criminal Law exam sat this morning featured a question about a fictional drinking society. 

We’ve all had bizarre questions in our time, but perhaps there has never been one so close to home – until now.

The question, which was revealed on former Tab News Editor Sebastian Salek’s blog earlier this afternoon, alluded to the possible criminal activity of a made-up drinking society called ‘The Vizards’.

Note: fictional reenactment

Note: fictional reenactment – the reality was a lot worse

The three-part question began with a short introduction: “Sandra is President of The Vizards, a College drinking society.

“She is organising the initiation of new members. After a great deal of alcohol has been drunk, the members of the society form a circle around Billy, Gilbert and Richard who are to be initiated.”

It went on to describe the initiations of the Vizards, including blindfold blowjobs, bottles up bumholes and death by pubic hair waxing. All in a day’s work.

You can see the full question below:

Photo credit: Sebastian Salek

Photo credit: Sebastian Salek

Reaction from the student body has varied from incredulity to mild amusement.

Salek, a third year lawyer at Clare, told The Tab: “it was surprising to see the university directly reference drinking societies and particularly initiations, which they generally tend to turn a blind eye to.”

Other students felt that the question demonstrated that the university is keeping up with the times.

One fresher from Trinity commented, “drinking socs are, after all, a big part of life at Cambridge.”

Around 200 students are said to have sat the examination, most of whom were freshers.

  • Call it Aussie See it

    We just call that Tuesday.

    • Simon Johnson

      Don’t know why mans have used mans alias ‘Billy.’ Man reiterated on a number of occasions that man was happy with the use of mans real name! #billy #blukubluku

  • Drinking socs

    ‘a big part of life at Cambridge’? Exclusive, selective clubs for people destined for liver cirrhosis a big part of life for everyone here. Seems legit.

    • What’s that taste?

      Is it bitterness?

      • Nah

        They’re just full of shit wankers and even shittier ties.

        • I completely agree

          I never got asked out with them either! Bunch of twats!

      • Jonny

        No bitterness – just sweet succulence, yum, yum, glug glug…

  • What

    the fuck.

  • Idiots

    Don’t they realise that drinking socs are single sex establishments?!

    • Lawyered


    • Steph Lipman

      No they’re not!

      • You are an anomaly

        because you are insanely fit.

        • Shouldn’t

          you be working Steph?

  • Mikey

    I love my spike beneath my floorboards.

    • My name

      is Mickey

      • You so fine

        Hey Mickey

        • Mickey

          I have to wax my nipple hair every day

  • Good tactic

    The University is trying to make students reflect for themselves on whether drinking societies’ rituals are acceptable to say the least.

    • Lawyer

      Nah, I suspect you’re overthinking it. There are a few members of the Faculty who have acquired “legend” status (in the “OMG sir you’re such a legend!” [/Year 9] sense) and they like to keep it that way with “jokes” like this. There’s another who uses the names of characters from current films in her problem questions, and makes express mention of this in examiners’ reports in case you didn’t spot them in the exam.

      • Lex

        “There’s another who uses the names of characters from current films in her problem questions, and makes express mention of this in examiners’ reports in case you didn’t spot them in the exam.”

        That is tragic.

        • Company 2008

          Hogwarts plc has three non-executive directors, Harry, Ron and Hermione, and two executive directors, Draco, the managing director, and Lucius, the finance director. At their last board meeting one month ago, Draco and Lucius announced that they had concluded on behalf of Hogwarts a joint venture contract with Slytherin Consultants.

          • linguist

            I used to use John Rambo in every example I was asked to give

          • Eyes passim

            Like the Genetics examiner who likes writing 1A questions about things like the inheritance of being a wizard/Muggle and dragon breeding,,,

  • Examiner bluff

    No offences

  • How

    did he photograph an exam paper?

    • Lawyer

      We’re allowed to take them out of the exam.

    • Anonymous

      ^you can take question papers out normally

      • B

        You can definitely take the paper out of the exam…. it has happened to me in every single Cambridge exam I have done so Anonymous is just wrong.

    • .

      A photographing device. They’re up-and-coming

    • Somone who has taken an exam

      He took the paper after the exam with permission from the invigilator.

  • Ye Cherubs

    If this was to your taste, send your application to president@yecherubs.co.uk

    • Rett Babram

      Give me the bottle!

    • Grammer Nut


      • Graduate of Pedant University

        Its this sort of salpdash righting that would of got me expelled (without honour’s) if i didnt suck the guys dick.

  • hrm

    not a criminal law student so i know i’m gonna get this wrong, but only (ii) seemed an actual illegal offence.

    • Former Criminal Lawyer

      For anyone interested in the other two:

      (i) raises issue of consent, and whether the identity of the person doing the sucking (i.e. male/female) is enough to vitiate consent, and therefore make it a sexual offence.

      (iii) is another consent point – generally you can’t consent to harm above “actual bodily harm” (ABH), which is relatively minor, so there’s a question of whether the harm caused is in fact grievous bodily harm (GBH, more serious than ABH). There are also certain exceptions to this consent principle, such as “rough horseplay”, so there’s the issue of whether you can make the waxing and general “shenanigans” fit within the scope of one of these recognised defences to the offence of ABH/GBH.

      • Learn something new everyday


      • Anonymous

        “Rough horseplay” is an actual legal term?

        • Former Criminal Lawyer

          I think the courts have tended to use it less in recent years, but it was used in the judgment of Aitken and Others [1992]. If you’re interested in reading it (it’s about a guy whose friends get drunk and set him on fire to see if a “fire retardant” suit really does the job!), you can do so on Westlaw.

          The URL would be too long to link, so the easiest way is to go to the Law Fac site (http://www.law.cam.ac.uk/legal-resources/), click the Westlaw link, and then select “Cases” and type “aitken” into the search box. The case you want is “R. v Aitken (Thomas Adam)”.

          I’m guessing you’ve got a Cambridge IP address, so you shouldn’t have any subscription-related problems!

          • holy crap

            is this someone being helpful in a tab comment? unheard of

            • Typical Tab Commenter


      • Pedantic Lawyer

        Issue of intoxication: The perpetrators may try to plea a defence of intoxication. Intoxication is not a defence if the intoxication was voluntary (i.e the perpetrators chose to drink), even if the perpetrators were so drunk they could not form the relevant mental intention for the crime. This is because of the Majewski principle which states that the perpetrator’s recklessness in consuming such large amounts of alcohol is enough to establish a guilty mental element.

        ii) Also raises the distinction between rape and sexual assault by penetration – a bottle up the bum constitutes the latter because rape is defined exclusively as penile penetration

        iii) Also raises issues on foreseeability and causation – i.e did the act of removing the body hair ’cause’ his death? OR is the victim’s own failure to seek medical help when it would have been reasonable to do so an ‘intervening event’ that breaks the chain of causation?

        • Not a laywer, but…

          But the initiation ceremony is in all likelihood pre-meditated (i.e. they have thought of the initiation tests in advance, before they got drunk). Surely this means that the fact that they were intoxicated when the carried out their plans is irrelevant?

          • Former Criminal Lawyer

            I think Pedantic Lawyer is raising something that isn’t really an issue here. However, you draw attention to another interesting point – there could be a conspiracy to commit [various sexual offences] if they’d planned them in advance.

            Anyway, thanks for the “correction”, PL. Of course, it’s to be expected given that you’ve revised this within the past two days – I haven’t revised it for two years!

            • Woah

              Don’t get so defensive former criminal lawyer, PL was just pointing out some additional points you could make. Chilllllllllllllllllllll.

              Also wonder if there is some assisting and encouraging going on here.

        • Another Lawyer

          You’re right about intoxication, and (iii) raising murder, but failure to seek medical help can never be a novus actus R v Holland/Dear/Blaue

    • Why the fuck

      are you commenting?

      • Tab regular

        I ask myself this question most days.

  • Advice

    If your waxed skin ever gets so infected you feel you might die, embarrassment is not a significant problem

  • Byron Elliott

    Any incredulity expressed is only at a fictional college admitting both a Sandra and a Tracey

  • Boyard

    I’ll scare off any lawyers with this scowl

  • Trinity 2nd Year

    well. drinking societies are only a big part of life at Trinity if you went to public school and are desperately sad about the fact you ever had to leave…

    • Sounds like

      they are a big part of that chip on your shoulder..

      • ummm


      • Sounds like

        Butthurt poshos unable to take a dose of the truth i.e. bantz

      • Trinity 2nd Year

        well would be an odd chip given i went to public school. 69 thumbs up for that makes me very very sad.

        • clearly oblivious to

          the public/private divide

          • yeah

            public is better

        • “69 thumbs up”

          Standard public school behaviour

  • They’ve admitted girls

    broken the law of good banter!

  • Bardo

    I would never have posted shit like this. Pithers, up your game or hand back the crown.

    • Chesterton

      #welovebardo #pithersout #returnoftheking

  • curious

    Any lawyers out there – what’s the right answer?

    • Former Criminal Lawyer

      Bear in mind I’m a third year, so I haven’t done this in ages, but:

      (i) raises issues of consent, and whether the identity of the person doing the sucking (i.e. male/female) is enough to vitiate consent, and therefore make it a sexual offence.

      (ii) wants you to discuss whether the fact that he later enjoys it is relevant. I’d argue that he wasn’t consenting at the time when he was penetrated (he was being held down), so it’s irrelevant. However, the position might be different in a “rape fantasy” context, which is a problem question I was set for a supervision once.

      (iii) is another consent point – generally you can’t consent to harm above “actual bodily harm” (ABH), which is relatively minor, so there’s a question of whether the harm caused is in fact grievous bodily harm (GBH, more serious than ABH). There are also certain exceptions to this consent principle, such as “rough horseplay”, so there’s the issue of whether you can make the waxing and general “shenanigans” fit within the scope of one of these recognised defences to the offence of ABH/GBH.

      • I sat this exam…

        stop making me feel stupid

      • pipe down

        can you not. its extremely irritating for all those who took the exam.

        • Objection

          Asked and answered – “curious” asked, it was answered. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it!

          • non-lawyer

            is there not another issue within iii) that the actual harm she caused wasn’t enough for him to die, it was his failure to deal with the infection that killed him not the actual skin damage?

            • Former Criminal Lawyer

              Yep, that’s certainly something worthy of discussion. I’d focused primarily on the defence of consent (which is surprisingly heavily included in this problem – I’d have expected more variety!) but you’re absolutely right. The potential offence is unlawful act manslaughter, since she didn’t intend to kill him but committed (?) the unlawful act of ABH/GBH, but you’d need to show that her unlawful act caused the death.

        • Your fault

          For being a thick cunt

          • Complainant

            Isn’t comment moderation supposed to filter out dickheads like this one?

      • Juggy

        This is just copied off of Reddit!

  • Sandra, President of the Vizards

    Delighted to announce that Billy & Gilbert have been initiated successfully. Richard is welcome to re-apply in Michaelmas.

  • Graham Virgo

    You absolute champion.

  • Sandra

    should never become a beautician

  • Aran Rezaei

    Crescents initiations are going to be A LOT worse. Come down to Tit Hall at 9am on Suicide Sunday to see what we have lined up!!

    • Aran

      Shut up,

      Sincerely, Hickey

      • Nick Davies

        Has way too much time in his hand

        • Aran Rezai

          Is let down by his inability to use English idioms

  • John’s Medic

    “it was surprising to see the university directly reference drinking societies and particularly initiations, which they generally tend to turn a blind eye to.”

  • In Engineering,

    Given the advantages and disadvantages of using a glass bottle in this way, make specific reference to yield strength and the microstructure of glass in your answer. Suggest other materials that might be better suited to this application.

    • In Medicine

      Using your anatomical knowledge of the perineum, discuss the structures ripped off along with the patient’s gooch. What investigations might you perform to further embarrass the patient?

    • The answer is always

      Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic

    • In Physics

      A cylindrical bottle is pushed in and out of a man’s anus by a sinusoidal driving force of angular frequency w and amplitude A. The bottle is at minimun penetration at time t=0. Neglecting frictional effects, derive an expression for pleasure as a function of w, A and t. Without detailed derivation, explain how your answer would change if the bottle was modifed such that it also oscillated in a direction perpendicular to the man’s rectum at angular frequency v >> w, with amplitude a << A.

      • Would probably

        do the complex impedance one instead.

  • Hagrid

    Yer a wizard Harry!

    • Rett Babram

      This comment alluded to a well-known saying associated with the fictional character ‘Hagrid’, from J. K. Rowling’s famous series of Harry Potter books. The commenter had clearly recognised that ease of recognition would be conducive to audience approval.

      However, the commenter failed to fully capitalise on the potential of the phrase in question, merely repeating it word-for-word, when a humorous reworking which referenced the article was called for.

      The obvious (and probably best) choice would have been the simple exchange of the word “wizard” for “vizard.” This would have nicely drawn attention to the nature of the article (initiation into the “vizards”) while still being recognisable.

      In conclusion, an otherwise promising idea spoiled by a critical oversight that severely lessened the impact of the comment. 6/10

      TL;DR: *vizard

      • Hagrid

        For fuck’s sake Harry, listen to me! YOU are a WIZARD. You’re gonna go to Hogwarts and do SPELLS and shit, and you’re gonna be fucking PLEASED about it! You get a wand, you get an owl; it’ll deliver your shitey mail. DEAL WITH IT, YA TWAT.

  • Sandra

    sounds like a bit of a twat.

  • Anonymous Roo

    I wish we had fun initiations……… all we did is lick out Chris Douse

    • Shut up

      You fucking loved it.

      • Chris Douse

        I did

        • Joey

          He used my tongue as toilet paper :(

  • Anonymous

    Is this a joke?

  • Smug Drinking society member

    Soz about none of you bitter commenters being initiated into a drinking society #notcoolenough

  • Anonymous

    gilbert’s a lucky guy

    • .

      *a lucky gay

    • Jonny

      is luckier

  • 2nd Year Lawyer

    Savour the banter, freshers. The most interesting essay I’ve written in my exams this year was on mortgages.

    • Rosy Thornton

      Cheers, thanks.

      • That’s

        For pooling me.

  • Sociologist

    A fellow sociologist observes a number of meetings of the Vizards and observes that considerably more time is spent referring to the potential for banter than the actual having of such. He asserts that Vizards have exhausted all potential source material for banter, and so have resorted to discussing previous instances as a substitute. Discuss the validity of his assertion regarding so-called /second-order banter/, making particular reference to third- and higher-order banter theory (20).

  • voice of reason

    Salek, please rectify your abhorrent grammar; it is something to which I can no longer turn a blind eye.

    • grammar nazi
      • voice of reason

        The hyperlink which you have cited is incorrect: indeed, part of the rationale for the rule is to distinguish between phrasal verbs and prepositions, otherwise expressions such as “put up” or “pass over” are ambiguous.

  • I wonder

    how long it’ll be before someone founds a drinking society called ‘The Vizards’ in Cam…

  • adi

    you all british people are dumb. especially the teenagers. and you ask then from where so many sick people? you call it Cambridge-one of the most prestigious institution, we call it shit or loony bin. i hope more russians will enter in your country and fuck you all!!!!!!!! Only they can show you how to bleed from nothing.

    • loony bin

      is where you’ll be going cocker

    • Cool

      story bro

    • adi you russian prick!


    • Cool

      story, bro

    • “Only they can show you how to bleed from nothing.”

      This is one of my favourite sentences.

  • Clareite

    I have a newfound love of the tab comments section

  • Matt Wyman

    is returning to the clubs of Cambridge, just wait until the initiations – girls get ready

  • in the telegraph…
    • Telegraphier

      I like how the Telegraph journalist has a stab at answering the question twice: early on he says the question is about “male rape,” then later “indecent assault”; if only he had read Former Criminal Lawyer’s enlightening exposition.

  • …and the daily mail
    • Lawyer

      The comments on the Mail are jokes.

    • She doesn’t even go here

      Miranda doesn’t even do law. Silly daily mail

  • Ah Finally!!!!

    A tripos exam that is relevant to today.

  • Lord M iv

    Always funny when some Cambridge jokers think they’re in an ‘elite’ drinking society. Come down to Oxford on a Thursday and I’ll take you out to Bridge with the Buller boys. If you can’t burn a grand, from the Buller you’re banned.

  • med student

    lawyers r dumb

  • http://www.aircool.fr http://www.aircool.fr

    On la bottom des expériences cual j’ai eu, je vais donner n’t aperçu de quelques-unes plusieurs choses que on pense pourrait décaler les shows du club en avant.Certaines choses ze posera vraiment bien et ils volent, certaines choses ne fonctionnent pas ainsi que il sera temperatures de passer à autre decided to go with. C’est une concern de recherche delaware cette formule gagnante. http://www.aircool.frces 4 in terms of qui the maintiennent,

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  • Jack Freeland

    Your information on aspartame is completely misguided. Also ‘the full fat stuff’ – normal coke has no fat. Idiot.

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