Pig head rugby and naked pushups: Inside the weird world of initiations
David Cameron’s alleged pig sex was nothing
We thought the Prime Minister’s antics at Oxford ended with the Bullingdon Club, but in a bizarre twist he supposedly had sex with a pig’s head while at uni.
An unofficial biography claims David Cameron “put a private part of his anatomy” into a dead pig’s mouth during his time at Oxford.
But the PM’s porking is nothing compared to the wild initiations and tours happening in unis today.
At universities around the country, oddball sports society initiations involve tossing round a severed pig heads, wearing squid heads and dressing up in baby seal costumes made up of fish guts.
Initiations have long been considered the dark side of sports society life and until recently have been their best kept secret – which explains why the majority of people we spoke to wanted to be anonymous.
Back in 2013, the Durham sports code of conduct was uncovered – which claimed inappropriate behaviour and particularly initiations were strictly banned.
“The definition of an initiation is an event in which members (often new members) of the club are expected to perform any activity as a means of gaining credibility, status or entry within a club.
“This pressure is often (although not explicitly) exerted upon first year students and may involve the consumption of alcohol, eating concoctions of various food stuffs and performing dangerous, illegal or humiliating acts.”
This basically means we all know about them, the sports societies know about them – but these acts of welcoming in the new blood obviously still go on.
Earlier this year in Aberystwyth the entire rugby team were banned from games and training over their apparently out of control initiations.
Shaved eyebrows and cigarette butts were a step too far for the Welsh uni, who ordered a complete clampdown on any kind of welcoming ceremonies.
But the Rugby League captain and newly appointed SU President at the time Lewis Donnelly insisted initiations have always been optional.
He said: “Firstly, ‘initiations’ have always been a part of rugby, not just throughout university, but also at local club level.
“It has always been down to the individual, and they know exactly what they are getting involved with before anything were to happen.”
But the leaked information was all a bit more sleepover than Silent Night, with eyebrow shaving and cigarette burns being some of the more pleasant initiations.
Far more bizarre stories of ceremonies have been uncovered, photographed and even filmed in unis across the country.
And they almost always involve men with a healthy share of public nudity.
Pig head rugby
David Cameron might have allegedly been involved in some kind of intercourse with a pig, but some rugby boys tossed the severed head of a swine around while totally in the nude for one of their less animal friendly initiation ceremonies.
A rugby captain who wished to remain anonymous told The Tab: “The guys play rugby naked with a pig head and someone wore a squid as a hat for the night.
“The smell was repulsive – but the rugby was hilarious.
“The head stayed in tact as there was no kicking, just big carries.
“Normally the most extroverted fresher is the one who was to wear the squid head.”
Aside from passing around a pig, the cruel captain has even forced his players consume each others bodily fluids.
He said: “I’ve made someone butt chug half a bottle of wine and then made his friend finish it off straight from the bottle.
“I’ve heard somewhere that 10 Guinness get lined up on a bar and one has a shit in it.
“It’s called Guinness Poolette.”
Fish guts and baby seals
A member of last year’s Newcastle American Football squad told The Tab: “The team have replaced initiations with an informal welcome drinks followed by the first social of the year.”
But he was willing to disclose the details of one of their extravagant socials, in which all the players dressed up as baby seals and carried fish guts around their necks.
He told The Tab: “We ditched them before town but we reeked of the things.
“I don’t think anyone pulled that night.
“The Social sec just thought it up. I think we got to a metro and dumped them in a bin on the way to town.
“They were easy to get hold of, he said he just bought some from the fish market.”
Public push ups in mankinis and maid outfits
Warwick is known for being studious and keeping their head down, but in December last year the streets were alight with the rugby team’s very public initiation ceremony.
But as a reward for their skimpy pushups, the Students’ Union didn’t see the funny side, handing the bold rugby team what they called “a suspended sentence”.
This meant the entire team had to attend consent workshops as a punishment and were threatened with a one year ban if they misbehaved again.
They were also banned from the majority of union club nights.
As a result they’ve been squeaky clean, at least in the public eye.
A Warwick Student Union statement said: “Other Universities have found that banning ‘adoptions’ or ‘initiations’ among clubs and societies has simply led to these activities going ‘underground’ and becoming potentially dangerous for students.
“The Rugby Club deviated significantly from the proposals submitted and approved, in turn jeopardising the safety of their membership and bringing the reputation of the University and Students’ Union into disrepute.”
A brave third year who was keen to fulfil a dare for an unnamed Cardiff sports team injected himself with an EpiPen during an initiation ceremony.
Rowdy club members persuaded him to push pure adrenaline straight into his leg, and he obliged as part of the challenge.
The anonymous Cardiff third year told The Tab: “I was like yeah why not, I’m up for most things.
“It went in my leg, it didn’t hurt at all and I’ve got no scar.
“If you ever get the shakes from drinking, that’s what its like but on a massive scale – I just shook uncontrollably for about half an hour.
“It’s an excellent way to contract Herpes”
Nazi Uniforms and synchronised vomiting
Standing in a line, being ordered by their captain wearing a Nazi uniform and puking in sequence, the Gloucester Uni rugby team went hard on their initiation back in 2008.
At the time a second year rugby player admitted: “The captain of the team decides what will happen each year and he will draw up a theme and then some games.
“It’s a tradition that stretches back more than 20 years and we’ve all been told not to talk about it.”
The University of Gloucestershire said they would punish the students taking part in the initiation, but they were never identified.
Barricades of beer and lemon-in-the-eye shots
Down in Plymouth things are a little more tame, where escaping from mounds of beer crates is top of the agenda.
Keen observer Jennifer Wright told The Tab: “The initiation began with The Crate Escape, where the prospective team members were locked in a courtyard behind a barricade of beer crates.
“In order to get out, they had to drink the lot.
“It didn’t get any better once they’d made it to the other side, where they had to pour lemon juice in their eyes.”
The more manageable Plymouth initiation came about because the rugby boys were reportedly forced to “tone down” their initiations for fear of being sanctioned by the uni or scaring off any prospective players.
Jennifer said: “Previous tasks involved running naked through the student village and shoving vegetables into bodily orifices.”