Image may contain: Person, People, Human

Sheffield SU’s Development Officer assaulted by Medic Rugby student in unprovoked attack

She was hit in the face by a boy on a sport social


Sheffield Student's Union's development officer, Meg McGrath, was punched in the face by a boy in Pop Tarts in an unprovoked attack last Saturday.

In a Facebook status, Meg shared a photo of her bloody nose, with a statement saying she was assaulted by a male student at Pop Tarts, just two days after International Women’s day.

Calling it a “completely unprovoked act of violence”, Meg claims after asking the student a non-confrontational question, he grabbed her drink, poured it over her, and ran away. When followed, he turned and head-butted the officer, causing her the bleed immediately.

The Tab has since learnt that the student was a medics Rugby Player on a sports social, and some have started to question lad culture and toxic masculinity within university sport.

Image may contain: Person, People, Human

In her statement, the Development Officer thanks public services for their help, and warns that she will be taking further action, stating “overseeing our club night is a part of my job, and I get the security reports for every night out. Far, far too often I see female victims not taking crimes of sexual or physical assault further. I refuse to be intimidated by this display of toxic masculinity”, claiming she won’t let the perpetrator "evade punishment”.

Just two days after International Women's Day, I was assaulted by a male student in the Students' Union in a completely…

Posted by Meg McGrath on Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Medics Rugby Union club said, "The Club are aware of an incident that took place in the early hours of 11 March 2018, involving an altercation with a Club member towards a member of the Sheffield Student’s Union Officer team.

"As a club that aims to embody values of inclusiveness, respect and discipline, we are mortified by such unacceptable behaviour which goes against everything we stand for. Sheffield Medicals Rugby Club unreservedly condemns acts of violence in any form and we are conducting our own internal investigation into the incident. The Club will be holding an EGM to fully reiterate expectations of individuals’ conduct both on and off the pitch.

"The Club member responsible for these actions has been removed under a lifetime ban and the Club has no association with the individual.

"As a Club, we fully support Megan McGrath in whatever action she decides to take and wish her a quick recovery. There will be no further comment on the incident from the Club for now.”

It's since emerged that the alleged attacker has since been suspended following the launch of a police investigation into the attack.

The SU and the University of Sheffield released a joint statement:

"We were dismayed to hear that an unprovoked physical attack was made against a Students' Union Officer in our Students' Union building on Saturday 10 March. We are treating this with the utmost seriousness.

"The safety of our students is our primary concern, supported by our zero-tolerance approach to violent behaviour. This isolated incident is not typical of our experience here at Sheffield SU. We will act on any lessons that we learn from this.

"It is clear that neither the University nor the Students' Union will tolerate behaviour which undermines the safety and respect of members of our student community and the alleged attacker has been suspended pending a police investigation. Members of staff who witnessed the incident will provide full assistance to the police."

Photo credit: Megan McGrath