Image Description: The Sheldonian Theatre
The nightclub Park End will be closed on Wednesday night in response to the ‘Girls Night In’ boycott of nightclubs. The club, also known as Atik Oxford, usually has its main night for Oxford students on Wednesday, but has decided not to open to show solidarity with the campaign.
Students across the country are being encouraged to stay at home on Wednesday evening in response to a lack of response by the Government and nightclubs over concerns about drink spiking.
The club had planned to remain open as normal when asked last week but have reversed their decision.
In a statement ATIK said: “After much consideration and after listening to both our staff and our guests, we can confirm we’ve taken the decision to close our student night on Wednesday 27th October in solidarity with the nightlife boycott.”
“Our commitment to guest safety remains our number one priority and we will continue to improve the measures we have in place with improvements to our training programmes, communication of our We Care programme and anti-spiking devices being made available.”
“We will continue with our 100% search policy, our security wearing body cams and our specialist welfare team including onsite medics and first aiders managing our medical room.”
“We would like to show our support to our student partners this Wednesday in raising the awareness of safety in the night time economy. Let’s work together to stamp this out.”
In response to a question about how it would keep students safe going forward the club told the Oxford Student: “Our teams are fully trained on the issue of drink spiking. They are aware of what to look out for and what to do if someone thinks they have been spiked.”
They also pointed to their ‘We Care’ policy which “aim[s] to ensure that the vulnerable are recognised and dealt with sympathetically, preserving their dignity and safety at every opportunity.”
This includes handing out free bottles of water, providing phone chargers free of charge, providing an escort to the taxi rank, and a medical and quiet room “refuge area,” in the club. Additionally, they are participating in the Ask Angela scheme where clubbers can ‘Ask for Angela’ to staff to indicate they are feeling unsafe or threatened.
Park End have also said that they will be providing anti-spiking devices on request as well as indicating that they “will never ask anyone to leave on their own,” as staff will arrange for a taxi or friend/family member to collect them if necessary.
However some Oxford students expressed scepticism about the move, telling the Oxford Student: “it certainly isn’t clear whether the move is in solidarity or whether the club has just realised that opening tonight is not economically viable.”
In recognition of the protest, Dominos along with Brookes SU are offering a discount on orders tonight and ‘Girls Night in Oxford’ are encouraging students to stay at home and have a movie and pizza night.
Oxford SU is conducting an anti spiking protest on Wednesday 27th at 10pm on Broad Street, outside the Clarendon Building.
Image Credit: Chen Chen