Freshers at New College have been caught on CCTV running naked through the college library.
The first years are believed to have been taking part in initiations for the college rugby team, and were later noticed by college librarian Naomi van Loo on CCTV footage.
Van Loo sent an email on the morning of the 21st October to JCR members entitled “CCTV coverage of the naked contingent last night is splendid!”. The email contained no further content.
However, some students have voiced concerns over the wider implications of the initiations. A student posted on the New College JCR page: “Hi everyone, Today rugby initiations took place and several (presumably very intoxicated) guys ran naked through the library. I *really, really* don’t want to get into an argument about this, especially not on Facebook. But as a peer supporter, this is a welfare issue.
“Initiations of this kind can be very exploitative, especially of people who have just started university, people who are really drunk, and people who want to fit in. It’s disrespectful to create an environment in which people are pressured to conform, and does nothing to dispel the damaging (untrue) stereotypes about the rugby team. It’s a real shame.
“Especially when we have a new year of freshers who are settling into their new home. Nobody in the library asked for anyone to expose themselves to us and disrupt our work.
“Please don’t, it shows a lack of respect for college being a communal home in which everybody can feel comfortable.
“This is something which many of the fellow peer supporters and I thought needed pointing out for future consideration. Have a safe evening everyone. xxx”
Reactions from New College students have also been mixed. One third year commenter noted that “We are very lucky at New College to have a team of six undergraduates who selflessly determine what is right and what is wrong. Thank God for them – I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to tell if running through the library naked is inappropriate.”
However, other students have voiced their support, with another third year adding that: “”Even those who took issue with the moral arbitration and tone recognise, for the most part, that the post makes a good point. This naked run is the tip of an iceberg. Although it is of course a serious issue, being both illegal and somewhat alarming, the underlying problem is the drinking culture of NCRFC – this is not the first time their antics have threatened to alienate them from the rest of college. In fact, some members of the club have privately expressed their frustration with the atmosphere that prevails within it, describing it as silly, unnecessary, and old-fashioned.”
“On a side note, it was interesting to observe how many NCBC members liked the post – perhaps a little hypocritically, given the fact that it is traditional for New College M1 to do a naked lap around college (including through the Turf!) in the summer, and none of them have ever raised any objection to this.”
Image: New College