Sheffield students call for nightclub boycott over spiking incidents
Students across the UK are taking part in the Night In Campaign
Thousands of students are supporting a call to boycott all Sheffield nightclubs on Wednesday 27th October to stand in solidarity against recent drink spiking incidents.
The boycott #SheffieldNightIn follows the national campaign, set up by a group of students in Edinburgh.
On social media, there has been a surge in reports of drinking spiking across the UK. A Tab survey found over 2,600 young people believe they’ve been spiked this term already. In Sheffield three weeks ago, five girls said they were spiked in Roar, the popular sports night held at Sheffield Uni’s SU.
#SheffieldNightIn told the Sheffield Tab they want everyone to get involved in the boycott, not just women. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the spiking epidemic in UK nightclubs and urge clubs to enforce stricter preventative measures against spiking.
One of the founders of the group, Chloe Aslett, 20, said: “We are asking for greater repercussions for perpetrators, increased body and bag searches upon entry to clubs, better CCTV at bars so those spiking can be identified and more access to resources for people who have been spiked.
“This is not a stay at home message. We’re not telling people to not go out and enjoy themselves – go to the cinema and restaurants, just not nightclubs for one night.”
Many sports teams and societies at both Sheffield Hallam and Uni of have arranged sober socials and “quiet nights in” in support of the boycott.
Meg John, Chairman of Hallam’s Women’s Lacrosse has organised a quiet night in for their society.
She said: “It is such an important movement for women’s Lacrosse to join. Through this boycott, we can spread awareness about such a concerning issue in Sheffield.
“We are able to stand up to spiking as a team, as it is hard to stand up to individually. We hope the campaign will educate men and women around us and make clubs and bars take further action into making us feel safer on nights out.”
The University of Sheffield’s Dance Society are running a pumpkin carving evening on Wednesday instead of going out.
Social Secretary, Bella Crolla said: “We fully support the Sheffield Night In movement as we want our group to feel safe on every night out.
‘We are a girl heavy society and we clearly see the problems of harassment and spiking first hand. To show our support, we will not be attending Roar this week and we will have a traditional girls night in with a classic horror film, snakes and pumpkin carving.”
Evie Croxford, Sheffield Students’ Union President is also supporting the boycott. She said: “Everyone should be able to enjoy a safe night out, and venues across the country have duty to help tackle the issue of drink spiking.
“We’d like to reassure students that our SU is committed to ensuring everyone can have a safe night. We’ve implemented additional measures, including making Spikey’s available at all of our bars and giving our security team test kits so they can check if your drink is safe.”
The SU will also be conducting random drink tests at all their events and they have increased messaging in their venues to warn perpetrators that they will be reported to the police. More information on the new spiking prevention methods at the SU, can be found on the Sheffield SU website.
Some clubs in Sheffield announced their closure yesterday in support of #SheffieldNightIn. Crystal, the venue of Hallam’s weekly sports night, Hallamnation, said that the club will be closed on Wednesday night to support the boycott.
The message, “We stand with you #NightIn” captioned an Instagram post from Crystal Bar. In the post, the nightclub said: “Although Crystal Bar Sheffield, home of Hallamnation, already had stringent measures in place to deter and prevent any such incidents occurring, we feel more needs to be done to get the message out.”
For more information on what to do if you or your friends are spiked, visit www.drinkaware.co.uk.