UCL Women’s Lacrosse allegedly tried to remove player after she reported sexual assault
The Men’s President has stepped down from his role, as multiple members now call for the removal of the Women’s President
The UCL Women’s Lacrosse President allegedly attempted to remove a member from the club after they reported a sexual assault that had occurred with the team.
The President of Men’s Lacrosse has stepped down as he says “it would be better for the club to be in the hands of someone better-trained and better-suited”.
This follows as other club members have called for the current President of Women’s Lacrosse to also step down.
A spokesperson for the Students’ Union UCL said: “We are investigating these incidents in line with our disciplinary procedures and as such will not be making further comment until the investigation has concluded.”
A Men’s Lacrosse player is under investigation following sexual assault allegations
A UCL Men’s Lacrosse player is currently under investigation following allegations of sexual assault.
A UCL Men’s Lacrosse club spokesperson said the alleged “actions are utterly antithetical to our values, morals, and ethos, not merely as a club, but as individual human beings.”
The player has now been removed from the club by the current Men’s committee. The Men’s Lacrosse team has pledged to install further policies including “active bystander training” and “sexual violence training.”
Alleged actions of the Women’s President
Multiple womens club members told The Tab the Women’s President attempted to remove the victim from UCL Lacrosse after the assault.
It is also claimed that, following the assault, the victim was not contacted by the welfare representatives of UCL Mens and Womens Lacrosse for weeks after the incident, after both the Men’s and Women’s clubs put statements out in response to the alleged assault.
The victim said: “No one acted on what happened. No one asked me what I wanted.”
The Welfare Secretary for Women’s Lacrosse told The Tab: “I wasn’t aware of the situation until a few weeks after. I was not told anything directly by the [Womens] President. Once I was made aware I reached out to the victim.”
In response to this, the current Women’s President said “the alleged incident occurred under the jurisdiction of the outgoing committee”, and the new committee “were not informed of the full details of the incident, or of their responsibility, believing that the matter was with the previous committee due to our lack of formal training. This regrettably led to a period of inaction.”
Last year’s Men’s President, along with a Women’s committee member from last year, said: “The 22/23 committee was informed of the incident at the time and informed it was their responsibility to handle. There was an official handover. You do not need training to approach a situation like this with common decency and respect”.
Members of the club have called for the Women’s President to step down
Multiple members of the womens club claim the Women’s President told the victim: “None of the Men’s club believe you.”
The Women’s President told The Tab: “I did not attempt to remove the alleged victim and I did not say ‘None of the Club believes you.'”
In a committee meeting, the President of the Women’s club is alleged to have worked to remove the victim from the womens club, eventually being denied by other members of the committee. A womens committee member called this “an attempt to silence women.”
In screenshots seen by The Tab, a message from a senior womens committee member to the committee group chat says: “I found out a couple of days ago [the Women’s President] was arranging on having the victim removed from the club. [The Women’s President] justified this on the basis that she had had individual conversations with all of you and that the whole women’s committee agreed on this apart from me.
“After some investigation, I realised that barely anyone had been contacted or given their views on this.”
The Women’s President of 2022/23 is seen in the same message chat apologising for their behaviour, saying: “I am sorry for the offence and upset that I have caused, and for trying to act to solve this situation in a naive manner.”
The Women’s President is also seen in a private text message saying: “I think I have been so angry at [the victim] its been making me more impulsive.”
Multiple members of the mens and womens clubs have called for the removal of the Women’s President.
A senior committee member said: “Are freshers coming into this club going to feel safe if their President doesn’t help a victim of assault?”
The Women’s President told the Tab: “I did consider the option of having the alleged victim removed but only personally (as in I thought about it and considered if it should occur, I then came to the conclusion that this was not so.)
“I do not believe my actions constitute me needing to step down.”
She said: “I believe that the club is in the place to take on Freshers next year” and said the club is “continually working to improve our club culture […] addressing all elements of the club to make it welcoming and supportive of its members.”
The Men’s President has resigned as members speak out on misogyny within the club
Womens and Mens club members told The London Tab that there was a culture of misogyny which was promoted in part by the Men’s President.
In response to the allegations of sexual assault, UCL Men’s Lacrosse 2022/23 said: “Behaviour of this sort is entirely unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated. We are offering our full support to help those affected.”
Despite this, the victim said the Men’s Committee 22/23 did not reach out to her for two weeks following the alleged assault.
The Welfare Secretary for Men’s Lacrosse told The Tab: “There is a problem with lad culture in the club which is the main thing we are trying to reduce this year.”
A senior member of the Women’s committee said: “The misogyny within the club, [the Men’s President] is a part of it. They exacerbate it”.
The Men’s President told The Tab: “I think it’s wrong to say there is a culture of misogyny within the club because of an individual’s behaviour.” He said the club has “implemented workshops and more socials without alcohol”, saying: “We are equipped to handle freshers next year.”
After the former Mens president left, mens club members allege that the Men’s President said: “Now we can do what we want without getting told off.”
The Men’s President has now stepped down from UCL Lacrosse Committee 22/23. A senior member of the Men’s committee said: “I think it was the right thing for the Men’s President to take accountability of his actions and step down, the Women’s President should follow in his example and do the same.”
In a statement to the Tab, the Men’s Lacrosse President said: “I want the best for the club and for the alleged victim, so I am stepping down as President. It would be better for the club to be in the hands of someone better trained and better suited. In theory, I should have acted quicker. I should have removed him immediately.” The Men’s President would not comment on “if the Women’s President should step down.”
Following the alleged assault, multiple members of Mens and Womens Lacrosse told the Tab there is a “toxic culture” of misogyny within the club. These allegations are now being investigated by the Students’ Union UCL.
A senior member of the Men’s Committee said: “They would say so much about girls. It made me feel uncomfortable and I’m a guy.”
A former 21/22 Mens Committee member said: “It’s a very laddy culture. I don’t think a lot of the guys understand how their behaviour is misogynistic and creates that environment.”
The Welfare Secretary for Men’s Lacrosse added: “When we go back in September [this culture] is what we need to crack down on.”
Another womens club member said: “Lacrosse is a sport I love but so much horrible stuff goes into it. I don’t feel Lacrosse is in a suitable place to take on freshers. I don’t think they can look after the safety of 18 year olds. This behaviour comes out because of the culture of the club. It all ties together, it’s a symptom of a wider problem.”
Both Presidents said they believe the club is able to take on freshers next year.
A member of the club also added: “I was under the impression that if I drank a lot there would be someone there to help. There is no one there to protect you. They shouldn’t be encouraging people to drink that much.
“It’s common for people at 11pm to throw up in bins. Binge drinking is actively encouraged. It enables people to act badly because the worst side of them comes out. All the club care about is their reputation. If silencing women is what they need to do then they will do it.”
Following the allegations, the Men’s Club said: “The Men’s Lacrosse team has pledged to install further policies including ‘active bystander training’ and ‘sexual violence training.’ Team members will be unable to play for the club if they do not complete this training.”
The full statement from the Women’s President is as follows: “As I have already communicated to UCL Lacrosse members I apologised for a comment said in a moment of stress considering the zero tolerance nature of the club and the membership of one member. This was then miscommunicated through the club leading to distress. I did not attempt to remove the alleged victim and I did not say “None of the Club believes you.” I admitted that I had been acting impulsively due to stress, and I did consider the option of having the alleged victim removed but only personally (as in I thought about it and considered if it should occur, I then came to the conclusion that this was not so.)
“I believe that the club is in the place to take on Freshers next year as we are continually working to improve our club culture and are looking forward to a year of development. A misogynistic culture is not one we welcome in the club and we are addressing all elements of the club to make it welcoming and supportive of its members. Members of the club are encouraged to speak out about any issues they may face, and I believe that, given my limited experience, training and actual ability to act, I carried out my duty of care to the alleged victim. As I have already communicated to UCL Lacrosse Members whilst I apologise for what I said and my naivety in the situation, I do not believe my actions constitute me needing to step down. Additionally, I only received direct calls from two members, and have not, to my knowledge, been informed of a ‘culture of misogyny’.”
Regarding the claim the victim was not contacted, the Women’s President said: “Regrettably, as the alleged incident occurred under the jurisdiction of the outgoing committee, the ingoing committee were not informed of the full details of the incident, or of their responsibility, believing that the matter was with the previous committee due to our lack of formal training. This regrettably led to a period of inaction.”
The full statement from the Men’s President (who has now stepped down) is as follows: “I want the best for the club and for the alleged victim, so I am stepping down as President. It would be better for the club to be in the hands of someone better trained and better suited. In theory, I should have acted quicker. I should have removed him immediately. I did not have previous training in this so I had to consult with other committee members first and with the Union.
“None of the Men’s club had any involvement in the attempted removal of the alleged victim from the club. After recent events, we have implemented workshops and more socials without alcohol and we are equipped to handle freshers next year. I think it’s wrong to say there is a culture of misogyny within the club because of an individual’s behaviour. I won’t comment on if the Women’s President should step down.”
A UCL spokesperson said: “We are really concerned to hear of these allegations and are working with the Students’ Union UCL to investigate them. The wellbeing and safety of our students are of the greatest importance, and we continually strive to create an inclusive environment for all members of the UCL community. We offer multiple ways for reporting bullying, harassment, and sexual misconduct to allow those who have experienced harm to choose the reporting route that feels safest and most appropriate for them.
“Our Student Support and Wellbeing Services provide a safe, confidential, and non-judgemental space, in which our students can discuss any issues that may be affecting their ability to study. We encourage anyone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing to contact them to speak to an adviser.
“We also encourage students who feel they have experienced or witnessed bullying, harassment, or sexual misconduct by another student to make a formal report to the Student Casework Team through Report + Support. Where behaviour has been found to breach UCL’s policies, disciplinary action may be taken. Bullying, harassment, and sexual misconduct are never acceptable at UCL, and we encourage all members of our community to report any experiences of such behaviour, so that we can take action to prevent further instances.”