EngSoc in Drug Accusation Scandal
President falsely accuses Vice-President of having drug addiction and Vodka Revs terminate their sponsorship of the society.
The English Society is in disarray after its president falsely accused his deputy of having a drug addiction.
Vice-president Ryan Bramley was called into a meeting with his tutor and contacted by student welfare after President Lawrence Walsh confronted him on an EngSoc Movember social.
Walsh has since admitted the damaging smear – which led to Ryan’s resignation from Engsoc – was “100% untrue”.
Ryan told The Tab: “At the EngSoc Movember Party I was confronted by Lawrence in public regarding some ‘concerns’ he had about me. I was accused by Lawrence of “using drugs as an outlet” due to stress caused by “taking on too much work”, and was told that he strongly suspected that I was addicted to illegal substances, of which he did not name.
“He also told me that he had considered reporting me to the Students’ Union due to my alleged conduct. By this point, I’d had enough and walked out of the bar.
“I had found out from Lawrence on Tuesday night that he had made these allegations public, having discussed them with at least two other named members of the committee – once again, in the sense that I actually did have a drug addiction.”
But Lawrence has since admitted the allegations are “100% untrue”, blaming his suspicions on apparent “erratic behaviour”.
In an email to Ryan, Lawrence said: “Suspicions were aroused when you went from being very compos mentis to exhibiting very erratic behaviour in a short space of time.
“[We] were having a fairly standard conversation about football before you disappeared upstairs only to return 5-10 minutes later in a highly hyperactive mood, e.g. dancing on the table, the sofas, giving faux lap dances etc.
“The sudden turn in mood was what was a real surprise to me and was what was, as I have been trained to recognise, a sign of drug usage.”
Earlier in the email Lawrence says: “Given your promises to me tonight I 100% accept that my concerns regarding your consumption of illegal substances are untrue.”
— Kemi-Olivia Alemoru (@kemioliviax) December 2, 2013
And in the message he admitted to telling two other students about his unfounded suspicions. He wrote: “I can 100% confirm that the only members of the committee that have any idea of this issue is yourself, myself, Jennifer Yates and Jacob Coupe. The reason for Jacob knowing something about it is that he was also present on the night upon which my suspicions were first grounded. The reason for Jennifer knowing anything is due to her involvement in the discussion that took place tonight.”
The damaging allegations quickly began to encircle Ryan’s entire university life. Ryan was spoken to by one of his tutors on the matter, as well as a University Student Support Officer.
“I visited this lecturer during his office hour to discuss an aspect of the course that I didn’t understand, but these problems were not addressed at all”, Ryan said. “Instead, I was quizzed over the allegations by the tutor, who asked me if they were true.
“It was clear that I had been reported by someone to the university regarding these ‘concerns’. I have since been called into a welfare meeting with a Student Support Officer.
“I also suggested that I could have a drugs test to fully prove that this is the case, but I was told that this was ‘not deemed necessary’ – although it was said that my ‘clear willingness’ to do this further proved that I did not have any drug-related problems.”
Since the night where these allegations were made, EngSoc have cancelled their Christmas party and Vodka Revs have terminated their sponsorship contract with the society.
Alisha from Vodka Revs told The Tab: “Every society is required to have a Christmas party with revs if they are in a sponsorship contract. Because EngSoc had to cancel the Christmas party, we had to subsequently cancel their sponsorship contract.”
Whilst the EngSoc meeting agenda claims the party cancellation was due to ‘lack of numbers’, Ryan believes that he could have saved the party if he was still on committee.
“As far as I was aware, it was going ahead, and we were to sell tickets later that week. The decision must have been made between my resignation on the 26th and the sending of the meeting agenda the following week. If I wasn’t forced into a position where resignation was the only available option, I would have done everything in my power to ensure the party would have gone ahead. The revs sponsorship contract would not have have been broken.
“These allegations have really got me down, and stressed me out a lot over the past eight days. They’ve affected me personally, as well as hindering my studies, and I don’t think I’ll get the grade that I deserve as a result.
“I feel victimised by Lawrence, and as someone that I had previously considered to be a close friend of mine, I’m struggling to understand why he’s gone to such an effort to smear my name and tarnish the reputation that I’ve worked so hard to build here at Sheffield.”
EngSoc have announced they will be holding a by-election for Ryan’s former position. When approached by The Tab, Lawrence Walsh declined to comment.