Lancaster Snowsports punished and placed on probation for two years after t-shirt social

After four weeks Lancs Student Union have sanctioned Snowsports


Lancaster University's Student's Union (LUSU) have decided upon the fate of the Snowsports Club, following their white t-shirt social on the 12th of October 2018.

The club have been banned from holding socials until Lent term, placed on probation for two years, and must submit advance notice of socials to LUSU.

The club's exec will also have to undertake hate speech awareness training.

In a statement, Lancaster Uni have "welcomed" the sanctions, and say they "share the sense of abhorrence at what has happened".

The social has caused controversy across the university and the country, following Chloe Long, the now-suspended BME officer, leaking information on the social after feeling the Students' Union "Fail in their ability to deal with the welfare of students, and fail in their ability to handle 'investigations".

Members of the society posed for Sugarhouse club pictures, the Student Union club, with messages written on their t-shirts such as "I've got muscles cos dad raped me", "Sandyhook woz bantz", "Free Tommy Robinson", and a swastika inside a love heart.

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Yesterday, Chloe Long had released a petition in order to quicken the process up and push the union to make a decision on the incident. Following this, a new Code of Conduct panel appointed by the union met and agreed on the sanctions against Snowsports yesterday, having published a statement today.

LUSU have decided that "the group be placed on probation for a period of two years" and if they breach the students' union Code of Conduct they will be suspended for a year. Snowsports are also expected to take a range of training, including "Bystander Intervention Training, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training and Hate Speech Awareness Training."

The Club now have a "time-limited suspension placed on them for the running of 'social' events/activities" meaning they will be unable to hold socials until the end of week one in Lent term.

Lancaster University have told The Tab that: "We will now be reviewing the evidence they have gathered in the light of our own disciplinary procedures."

"There was insufficient evidence to enable us to investigate the actions of individuals. We therefore encouraged an investigation by the Students’ Union into the actions of the club as the best way forward under the circumstances."

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The full sanctions are as follows:

" A formal, public apology statement should be made by the club to the university community concerning the offence their behaviour has caused. The club executive themselves were eager to do this

"The group be placed on probation for a period of two years. Any further breaches of the students’ union Code of Conduct or disciplinary matters involving the university during this time, would lead to an automatic one-year suspension

"For a period of two years, the Lancaster University Students’ Union Snowsports Executive Committee will be required to undertake the following training in addition to what is already required:

– Bystander Intervention Training

– Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training

– Hate Speech Awareness Training – an external facilitator is being identified for this

"For a period of two years, the club will be required to submit notification of socials in advance to the students’ union for formal approval and these socials must be risk assessed and/where appropriate limits set on numbers able to attend. Members of the executive are also required to have attended all the appropriate and relevant training prior to these socials going ahead

The Snowsports Club will have a time-limited suspension placed on them for the running of ‘social’ events/activities. The definition of this being any activity [official or unofficial] that doesn’t include competing in events and/or training sessions. This shall be for a period lasting until the end of week one in Lent Term."

Lancaster SU's full statement can be read here.

Following the decisions made, the university made a statement to The Lancaster Tab:

"The Students’ Union concluded its investigation on Friday evening into the conduct of the Snowsports club and we welcome the range of sanctions applied to the club.

"We will now be reviewing the evidence they have gathered in the light of our own disciplinary procedures. At the time the Students’ Union made us aware of the incident (15 October) we had not received a single complaint, no individuals were identified and we contacted the police who had also received no reports. In short, there was insufficient evidence to enable us to investigate the actions of individuals. We therefore encouraged an investigation by the Students’ Union into the actions of the club as the best way forward under the circumstances.

"The outcome of the Students’ Union investigation was delayed by the leaking of information and the need to form a new code of conduct panel. Whilst we are aware of the strength of feeling about this issue, and share the sense of abhorrence at what has happened, it is nevertheless vitally important that both the Students’ Union and the University follow the correct procedures rather than rushing to make conclusions. The matter now lies with the University and we will begin our own investigation and will be reviewing the evidence gathered by the Students’ Union. Where our processes conclude there has been a breach of University regulations we will take action. We will seek to expedite this as soon as possible but need to ensure that this is a robust and careful process.

Lancaster University does not tolerate hate speech in any form and considers it the very opposite of our shared values of equality, diversity, inclusion and mutual respect."