St Hugh’s JCR has been warned by the college about inappropriate behaviour at Formal Hall. Instances of pennying, loud chanting and generally rowdy behaviour were among criticisms of the conduct of Hugh’s students last Friday.
In an email sent to undergraduates, JCR President Thomas Pope, said: “As a JCR, we should be able to prove that we are able to take responsibility for our actions and prove that we are, in fact, adults.
“We should respect the occasion as formal, and understand that an inappropriate atmosphere affects SCR, hall staff and other members of the JCR.”
The news comes in the wake of of two St Hugh’s students apologising for wearing racially insensitive costumes to a bop earlier this month.
Other examples of “unacceptable” behaviour referred to in Pope’s email included students leaving the hall while the high table was seated and excessive drunkenness.
The current college policy is that each individual is allowed to bring a bottle of wine to the formal, but Pope warned that if behaviour like this were to continue, this policy may be placed “under review”. It is believed that instances such as vomiting on college property may have led to this warning.
Yet Pope was quick to emphasise that no action had yet been taken by the authorities, saying: “The college are not intending to remove formal hall from junior members, but have simply warned that, should the behaviour of Friday night become a more regular occurrence, the current system would have to be reviewed.”
He added: “The formal hall on Friday was very much the exception to what has otherwise been good behaviour by JCR members at formals. Since the current format of formal hall was started in Hilary 2012, this is, to my knowledge, the only time that any concerns have been raised.”
This is not the first time that formal hall has been a subject of controversy at St Hugh’s, with JCR members successfully boycotting attempts to change the ‘bring-your-own-wine’ policy in 2011.