York Sport Slams Hockey Initiation

The University of York Hockey Club (UYHC) has been slammed with a £200 fine by YUSU after hosting a vomit-filled initiation ceremony.

A Vision investigation, following an anonymous tip off, uncovered evidence of the gruesome initiation, in which students were made to down drinks mixed with dog food and goldfish. Many of the photos discovered were deemed to be too shocking to be shown here.

A video of the initiation, and the majority of the photos of the event that surfaced on the Internet, have now been hastily removed.

The repercussions though have been severe for new UYHC presidents Mark Inman and Laura Pepper, who have found themselves in the middle of a storm of controversy only weeks into their presidency.

In addition to this, ex-UYHC President Rob Newton has angrily described his club as “full of non-professional people”, before going on to say that whilst he takes some of the blame for the incident the new presidents “were responsible for the afternoon’s activities”.

In spite of this Mark Inman has defended the ceremony, which took place on Saturday May 29th, after York Sport President Emily Scott condemned the use of “peer pressure upon individuals in any situation”.

After Vision made Scott aware of the existence of the video last Friday the York Sport President was quick to act, calling a York Sport Committee meeting and swiftly releasing a statement on the YUSU website. The statement denounced the UYHC event and announcing that the club had been fined.

The new UYHC president has come out fighting though, saying: “As far as I am concerned, we have complied with all aspects of the YUSU Social Policy. We do much better than most other clubs on every single point mentioned.”

Those who have seen the video and photos posted last week on Facebook may not be so quick to agree with Inman’s defence of the weekend’s event though.

The hundreds of photos show how a disgusting concoction of dog food, anchovies, gold fish and raw eggs were blended together into drinks that students were forced to down as quickly as possible.

In the two-minute long video, now removed from Facebook, students are seen downing these drinks in front of a frenzied crowd cheering them on, despite their visible physical discomfort. When one student, bowed down and hands on knees, throws up after his drink he is greeted by shouts of “Man Up!”. Another student, unable to stomach finishing his drink, is met with repeated screams of “Eat it! Eat it!”, before eventually pouring the drink over his head.

The reaction around campus has been one of shock, with one student commenting: “I’m astonished that they would do that over here. You only hear of that stuff in fraternities in America.” Another student added: “I didn’t realise that they had these sorts of initiations in York, and I just wonder how willing the students were who took part.” Both students know members of the hockey club, and wished to remain anonymous.

Reflecting on his time as a member of UYHC, ex-hockey President Newton has stated: “Of all the things that I’m going to miss about my time in the hockey club over the last three years, these ‘rituals’ are not amongst them.” He went on to claim that despite last weekend “attitudes are changing” in the Hockey Club.

Meanwhile embattled President Mark Inman was keen to stress that UYHC is inclusive and welcoming, saying: “All socials and any aspects of them are entirely optional and alcohol is never an integral part. This has always been made clear. The welfare of our members is extremely important to us and I believe UYHC to be one of the most socially inclusive clubs on campus. There are numerous members of the club, past and present, who have not participated in anything of this nature and are revered players of teams throughout the club. This is not, and never will be, a requirement.”

Inman’s assurances will do little for the damaged reputation of UYHC though, in a week in which the image of the university’s sports clubs took a severe hit.

18 thoughts on “York Sport Slams Hockey Initiation

  1. So, Vision were the ones to discover and expose this story, not Nouse. So it seems that YET AGAIN yusu have breached the Media Charter and passed on Vision’s stories to Nouse (whether intentionally or not). Disgraceful behaviour from YUSU who this year seem to have complete disregard for the media.

  2. Leaving 10% of room in the blender for fish, dog food and eggs. Yummy!

    On a more serious note, which parts are bullshit? This isn’t meant to be an antagonistic question, I’m just curious.

  3. KK- clearly you are a militant hockey supporter. exactly what parts are bullshit. No one at vision is embarassed by discovering and reporting on stories.

    I think that your anonymity suggests you may be ’embarrassed’.

  4. “So, Vision were the ones to discover and expose this story, not Nouse. So it seems that YET AGAIN yusu have breached the Media Charter and passed on Vision’s stories to Nouse (whether intentionally or not). Disgraceful behaviour from YUSU who this year seem to have complete disregard for the media.”

    That’s not really true though is it.

    Emily Scott released a statement on the YUSU website revealing the decision to fine the Hockey Club for their actions.

    This is NOT leaking a story, this is the York Sport Committee and YUSU using their own communication channels to provide accountability for their actions.

  5. Mole, YUSU officers should not publish the findings of media investigations before the paper has had a chance to. It’s something they have agreed to time and time again in YUM meetings, but they still do it. I agree with ‘Friend of Vision’. Bad show YUSU… AGAIN.

  6. You’re right Krishna saying that socials are a laugh, after all it’s what they’re for. However, these hockey players should be setting more of an example for others – ie. those who were unfortunate to get taken on in the trials at the start of the year, and then they read that those at your expense are being forced to down fishheads and dog food! Its not very professional.

  7. I see no reason to doubt the authenticity of the “ex-hockey fresher”
    post (way up on this thread), and I’ve seen that kind of thing going
    on at the hockey Christmas port thing. Groping, and a girl looking
    very shocked and upset. Everyone needs to slow down a bit, read
    the “ex-hockey-fresher” post, and start thinking about how to make
    sure that these kinds of thing don’t happen again. But perhaps things
    won’t improve until the elder statesmen like Rob, Billy and Lion summon
    up enough moral courage to condemn this kind of stuff outright, instead
    of expressing, at most, mild disapproval. Someone inside the club needs
    to take the lead on sorting this out….

  8. Not up on THIS thread – I meant the Nouse thread. Darn.

  9. KK’s right. It’s bullshit. How about you ask the freshers who were actually involved, and the freshers who decided not to be involved, instead of TELLING everyone how horrific it was? You don’t really have a clue. You’re just basing it on speculation, Josh Mangham – and you’ve assumed it was significantly worse than it was.

  10. First of all it should be pointed out that the orange stuff in the blender (to my knowledge) wasn’t goldfish. As far as I know this was a member of UYHC trying to show that if you feed Vision some bullshit which shows the club in a worse light, vision won’t question the validity they’ll just swallow it up and make it part of the main story.

    I can only assume that asking two random anonymous sources around campus (who weren’t at the “freshers lunch” and can’t even really claim that they are anything whatsoever to do with UYHC) was simply to get the desired “disgusted” response. Instead of asking any of the freshers involved their opinions, as judging by the comments left by most of the UYHC freshers on both this page and nouse’s page, the response would have been much different.

    There’s also a comment on here saying that they had to down fish heads? I can only assume you’ve half heard the story and have very little knowledge of either biology or the average size of fish head/an oesophagus.

    This really goes to show that most of what people outside of UYHC know about this event (apparently also including Vision and Nouse) is a form of chinese whispers which from the start was based on rumours and a couple of facebook photos.

    The fact that UYHC hold the “freshers lunch” at the end of the year rather than the start, if anything should not be criticised but followed. If “initiations” are going to happen (and they are, whether non-sports people like it or not) they might as well be held after the season is over so as not to put off freshers at the start of the year, who might otherwise be playing the highest standard of sport that this university has to offer.

    I would also like to point out that the way UYHC president Mark Inman has been portrayed in both this and the nouse story as some sort of campus villain feeding off the misery of freshers is highly unfair. He was simply trying to defend a club that he’s put a lot of time and effort into. A club that (with the exception of this half-baked “news” story) has had a fantastic year. The only club to turn a loss from last years Roses into a victory this year, with most teams in the club being promoted this season in their respective leagues and with the mens 1st XI securing the Bucs cup silverware.

    If anything UYHC has done nearly all it can to improve the name of this university this year. Why tarnish that with what can hardly be called news? (Students at universities do initiations for sports clubs, shock horror! Who would have guessed?)

    If it weren’t for UYHC and the experiences I’ve had playing for this club I don’t think I’d be half the person I am today.

  11. I cannot believe that a paper that supposidely claims to have the standards that Vision has can have printed the goldfish story. I know for a fact that someone claimed goldfish were involved as a piss take about how bad people really think this is (infact what was claimed if i heard right is chemically impossible and vision should know that). How can vision have heard this off someone and printed it as fact when they havent even researched it?

    This isnt a post on whether i agree with the initiation or not, i just find it disturbing that UHYC is been vilified over a lot of things that never happened, and that instead was heresay that Vision decided to print instead of checking the facts first. Also, people can look badly at the hockey club ONLY if we were the only club on campus to do this, which is so far from the truth it isnt even funny. Most sports teams run initiations. Also, has anyone asked how many of the YorkSport members have done initiations for various clubs? Highly hypocritical of them

  12. I think Vision are completely justified in reporting the story. Clearly a number of those involved are trying to downplay the situation as is in their interests to do so, but in reality it must be seen for what it is: disgusting, immature and socially exclusive, which is unacceptable for a YUSU-funded sport club. This is the kind of thing that gives universities bad reputations. Re: the Nouse and YUSU comments, is it not conceivable that Nouse got the story from yusu.org, where it had in turn appeared as a result of complaints to YUSU? I don’t think in this instance it’s a case of YUSU leaking the information to Nouse.

  13. “Chemically impossible” to put a goldfish in a blender? And they say that science GCSEs are getting easier. Pah!

    A lot of this story does seem overblown and I take the point of the people associated with the club that it might be exaggerated somewhat. Regardless, at the start of the year Emily Scott said in no uncertain terms that any club found to be holding any kind of “initiation” ceremony, or even using the word initiation to describe any club organised events would be reprimanded by YorkSport. Whether you agree with it or not (which personally I do) regardless of any exaggerations it’s pretty stupid to hold initiations, take pictures, film them, put them online and not expect consequences.

    I’m off now to test out the PH balance of my housemate’s goldfish.

  14. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of initiations in general or the content of the Hockey initiations, the defence that “our initiations aren’t as bad as there initiations” is unbelievably weak. You can’t defend a war because it was shorter than someone else’s or a crime because it was less severe than someone else’s.

    Naturally all adults have a right to choose whether or not they partake in these bizarre and frankly perverse tests of what exactly? weirdness? But where is the dignity in it?

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