‘S’ for Somerville, sick and security guards

College News News

Somerville’s first bop of the year took place with heightened security after claims that scouts were greeted with ‘horrific’ scenes of vomit and mess after the final bop of last Trinity.

The Entz team was required to spend £160 on a security guard for last Saturday’s ‘S for Somerville’ bop, leading to a £1 charge for each guest and concerns that the added costs may make future bops less viable. A member of the Entz team said that it could be “difficult” to make profit or to break even at future bops. The JCR was required to pay £250 towards the cleaning of vomit from the last bop.

Only 150 people were allowed inside the venue – the college’s Flora Anderson Hall – at one time, leading to queues outside.

Amelia Hamer, a member of the four-person Entz team at Somerville, said this weekend’s bop was a ‘great night’.

“There were people waiting outside at times because we reached capacity, but otherwise we sold all our bop juice and freshers had a great night,” she said.

One member of the Entz team was required to remain ‘completely sober’ at the event, and all students had to present Bod cards on arrival. All outside guests had to be pre-registered.

The college has also imposed a limit on the number of bops to take place during Michaelmas, reducing the normal three to just one.

The Entz team were instructed to “refuse admittance to any highly intoxicated students and record details of refused or excluded students”, while the friends of ‘highly inebriated students’ were watched to ensure they were not passing on alcohol.

An email to the JCR from Marsha Sudar, last year’s JCR President, claimed that “there was sick all over the bathrooms of FAH, so much so that one toilet was blocked” after the final bop of last year.

“This was not cleaned until Monday when the poor housekeeping team was greeted with the horrific remnants of Saturday night,” the email continued.

“Students, Somervillians and students from other colleges, were found smoking and behaving aggressively outside FAH. Furthermore, weights from the gym were found in FAH, this is a massive safety hazard at something like a bop.”

Olivia Arigho Styles, historian at Somerville, commented, “”I think it was ridiculous to cap the number of bop attendees at 150 when the Somerville JCR comprises around 400. Many Somervillians were forced to break into their own bop which seems contrary to the atmosphere of conviviality it was meant to foster.”

She continued: “Likewise the security guard was both a draconian and unnecessary measure. If the college wants to seriously tackle the problem of excessive drunkenness at bops (as much as it pains me to say it) perhaps the provision of 50p bop juice should be evaluated; it is basically fruit flavoured petrol after all.”

It is not the first time that Oxford bops have been subject to additional security. Earlier this year, New College was forced to impose a ‘one-in-one-out’ policy after a health and safety ruling.

Although rules were imposed on guests at this bop, past Somerville events have been more open to visitors. The prolific middle-aged student partygoer known as Old Man Bridge attended a bop at the college in April 2012.

College bops have continued to hit the headlines this term, with Keble choosing to put bouncers on the door last weekend.