Allegations have been made that Univ freshers have been swearing and spitting at the college’s bar staff.
The most recent in a string of incidents occurred at a bop in the college bar on Saturday night. Staff at the bar, which is managed independently of the college, reported multiple instances of swearing at workers.
On one occasion, a student spat over the counter of the bar.
When approached by The Oxford Student the bar staff acknowledged that the incident took place but declined to make any further comment.
The college Dean said that he was currently unable to discuss the matter, but that he intended to begin a decanal investigation into the events soon.
The events at last week’s bop have prompted discussion that suggests wider problems within the first year.
The JCR President, Abi Reeves noted that “the first years have been rude generally, in hall and at the bops”. She even reported that freshers “have been clicking their fingers at staff in hall”.
In a statement, Reeves condemned the “shocking behaviour of a few individuals” and said that “the majority of Univ students are hugely disgusted.”
At a JCR meeting, Entz Rep Leo Gilmore complained of “an attitude towards staff” amongst first year students, and said: “People have been quite rude, swearing, spitting over the bar, forgetting please and thank you”.
She went on to say: “This is not just because of alcohol [but is…] recurring throughout hall and bops.”
When asked about the student who spat over the bar, the JCR President, said: “[Staff] do not know who it is […] and are currently going through the process of looking at photos in an effort to determine the student’s identity.”
She is confident, however, that the pupil concerned is a first year, and is keen to stress that second and third years were not involved, saying that “when the person spat, the second and third years nearby were appalled”.
A first year, who wished to remain anonymous, commented that some of those who witnessed the spitting incident recall that the student in question “exclaimed ‘ahh I need to spit’ and so leaned over to spit in a bin”.
The bar staff were not available to verify this claim.
Many other second and third years have responded angrily to the behaviour of the younger students.
A third year student at the college said: “It’s absolutely shocking to treat anybody like this…the issue raises questions about a much deeper attitude amongst first years, who just don’t seem to have learned how it is acceptable to treat people who are serving you food, drink or alcohol.”
A third year PPEist commented: “The freshers seem stuck in a school mentality. Just because there’s no detentions doesn’t mean you can behave like an idiot”.
Gilmore also commented: “As second and third years we’ve known the staff for a long time, and we are extremely unimpressed that the first years would treat people who are so supportive of us so badly”.
In a joint comment, Hugh Moorhead and Vannevar Taylor, both second year Classicists at Univ, quipped: “The whole situation vividly brings to mind the excesses of the decadent Trimalchio.”
One first year, who did not want to be named, said that he could remember very little of the bop, but upon being questioned about allegations of rudeness he conceded that “sometimes the first years are a little quick to tell older years to be quiet in the library”.
The college is taking measures to tackle the problems raised by recent events. The JCR president stated: “We are attempting to work with college to help improve everyone’s attitudes for the better.”