Hughes Hall student launches petition against spiking

The petition is responding to a spiking incident at a college bop

At a Hughes Hall college bop last Friday, two students reported being spiked via needles in the arm. Charlotte Brundle, a second-year undergraduate, has launched a petition to lobby for changes in light of this incident.

The text of the petition (now at over 250 signatures) says “I am afraid and feel unsafe in my own college. Cambridge, as an institution, is extremely wealthy and needs, therefore, to invest some of its money into each college at this university specifically for the safeguarding of students that identify as female and non-binary.”

In the petition, Charlotte claims to have witnessed “a female guest being sexually harassed by a male student,” and states that they did not see this man removed from the premises. The petition claims that “there were not enough Hughes Hall staff present, nor security,” the bar staff were all students, the Head Porter was the only member of college staff present, and security did not have the number for the porter’s lodge.

To avoid future incidents, the petition proposes university-wide training about sexual assault/harassment and spiking, bag checks at all university events, a member of staff supervising the bar at all university events, the provision of walkie-talkies to staff at university events, the noting down of contact information for all attendees, and immediate expulsion of any student found guilty of spiking, sexual harassment, or assault.

Students at Hughes Hall received an email from Senior Tutor Dr Tori McKee on Saturday regarding the incident. The email expressed that the college is committed to a full review of the incident and will be putting additional security measures in place. It urged students to be extra cautious in light of the incident, as well as other incidents around Cambridge.

When approached for comment, Hughes Hall Communications responded with: “The welfare and safety of our community is our top priority and the College treats incidents of this kind extremely seriously. The police have been informed and we are supporting the students affected. We have written to our student body to inform them of these shocking incidents and are undertaking a full investigation, including consideration of any additional steps needed to keep our community safe.”

A spokesperson for Cambridge University commented: “The University and its Colleges take the safety of staff and students extremely seriously. No one should be subjected to behaviour of this kind. The University regularly reviews how it organises its events to ensure appropriate safety and security measures are in place.”

Cambridge SU was also contacted for comment.

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