UCL Men’s Rugby Club disaffiliated from Union 

UCL Men’s Rugby Club disaffiliated from Union 

The Union took the decision after another complaint was made during the club’s period of suspended disaffiliation for offensive chanting and harassment in June.

UCL Men’s Rugby Club have been disaffiliated from the UCL Student Union following a second complaint lodged on the 4th December.

The club was under a year-long period of ‘suspended disaffiliation’, meaning that they could continue as part of the union but that any further discretion would result in immediate disaffiliation.

On the 4th December, the Union received a complaint that the club made their freshers sign non-disclosure agreements in order for the society to be able to hold extreme initiation ceremonies. The union saw this as a breach of regulations surrounding peer-pressure, initiations and hazing.

These regulations state:

“Any kind of club or society initiation ceremony is strictly prohibited. Under no circumstances must any individual or group of individuals be forced or pressured against their will into taking part in any Club or Society activities or events.”

The disaffiliation means that the club have been immediately removed from all competitions – both national BUCS university leagues and the London-specific LUSL. Financial ties with the Union have been suspended, and the club has lost access to UCL facilities such as Shenley, UCL’s sports ground. All memberships will be refunded.

On the 6th June this year, the rugby team were videoed chanting racist songs and harassing members of Women’s Hockey who had occupied seats they wanted on a bus. The video circulated round social media and resulted in a disciplinary taking place in July. Two rugby members were permanently banned from the club.

In October the Rugby Club issued a formal apology to Women’s Hockey. They expressed their regret for the ‘misdemeanours of a small group of members’ who represented the club ‘in a regretful light’, and vowed to work to improve their ‘reputation and relationships’ moving forward.

The club will have the right to appeal directly to the Union’s Board of Trustees.

IMAGE CREDIT: OLGA GURYANOVA VIA UNSPLASH