Karni Tarred With The Lad Brush

Karni Director condemns actions of ‘a minority of reps’

cowgate hostel exclusive karni matt furniss

The Director of Karni, Matt Furniss, has defended the organisation after it was revealed yesterday that some reps had caused damage to a hostel on a weekend trip.

He agreed that Karni are seen as laddish, but maintained that the controversy centered on “a minority of people within the organisation, and a minority of people on the trip. 80 to 90 reps were on this trip and the damage [to the Cowgate Hostel in Edinburgh] was caused by six or so people.”

Those involved have been given 50 hours community service “with the potential for further action to be taken.”

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When questioned whether those involved saw their position within Karni as an excuse for their actions, he said: “This might be their personal interpretation, but it certainly is not that of Karnival as an organisation.

“From my personal interaction with those concerned, they’re the sort of people who enjoy that sort of night out.”

Karni have made it clear via Twitter that the good work done by the organisation should not be overlooked.


Other reps echoed the view. Zak Soithongsuk, Karni rep for Broadgate Park, believed it was unfair “to try and use a small group of individuals within an organisation of 122 reps to reflect upon the whole of Karni.”

“Their individual actions can’t always be turned against the fact that they wear a red polo….they deserve to be punished and their actions shouldn’t make people forget that Karnival deserves to be known as the largest and most successful student-run charity organisation outside of the US.”

“I know that everyone that wasn’t involved in the things they did is upset, annoyed and angry. At the end of the day, this kind of thing probably happens whenever a big group of students goes away somewhere…”

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Furniss also made it clear that the charges laid upon them by Cowgate Hostel were mostly for extra cleaning and lost keys, and only around £100 was charged for damages. “The bigger issue was that the rooms were left in an unsuitable state… But we left on good terms with the hostel.”

“The phantom ‘£1000’ was never actually imposed. We warned a small group of individuals there was the potential for fines if their behaviour had escalated. This gentle warning had the desired effect and there was no need for any further action to be taken.”

The ‘kourists’ had initially reacted to the fines imposed by the hostel by tweeting “#kouristdontgiveafuck”. Furniss claimed that the “Twitter account in question is an awful representation of the general atmosphere and feeling, of the majority of the group on the trip.”


An employee of Cowgate Hostel revealed how the group threw toilet paper and mattresses into the staircase and broke windows and doors.

“I could keep telling you (about the damages) for another half an hour. I was upset for the cleaners, I did not expect them to ever have to work for that long. You could barely use the kitchen because of the mess.”

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He thought they were not charged enough for the damages and was disappointed by their behaviour on the second night: “The worst thing was after we asked them not to behave like that, they behaved even worse the next. It seemed like they did it only to recreate problems”.