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Hockey committee members ‘pressured’ to resign

Members of the Cardiff Men’s Hockey committee have reportedly been ‘pressured’ to resign after team members were recorded ‘streaking’ in the Julian Hodge Building.

The incident, which took place in the building’s library and was recorded on video by a surprised onlooker, led to both social secretaries of the men’s hockey team leaving their positions.

According to a message posted to the one of the group’s social media pages last week, the committee felt itself to be under pressure to introduce ‘sanctions against certain members of the club’.

In the Facebook post, the secretaries detailed an alleged loss of confidence in their ability to fulfil their roles, explaining that “we feel we have lost the backing of the chairman and the committee and we feel our position has become untenable.”

“We feel we did the job to the best of our abilities and feel that his decision is putting the club’s best interests first.”

“It’s with a heavy heart and teary eyes as I type this for the last time,” the message concluded.

There has been speculation that the students involved in the incident, which was reported by Gair Rhydd last week, have been banned from training or participating in matches for the remainder of the academic year.

However, those responding to the disciplinary action have voiced concerns that the action taken is too severe.

Former student Chris Houghton said: “I think a hockey player’s job is to play hockey. If anything, all that running around with their kit off shows is an intense devotion to their sport.”

Some have claimed that students shedding clothes on campus is not a new phenomenon, especially in student residences such as Talybont, and is not particularly controversial.

Indeed, the behaviour seems muted in comparison to alleged behaviour in student halls – one third-year student recalled waking up in Talybont South to “six students pissing on the side of my house.”

Journalism, Media and Culture undergraduate Sophie Lodge also confirmed that she had seen “people streaking” in Talybont North during her first year.

But talking about the disciplinary action, Lodge expressed doubt over whether the resignations were too harsh an outcome.

“It’s not like they are losing a job, they’re losing a voluntary position in a society they participate in in their spare time,” she said.

Last week, Gair Rhydd reported that students who bore witness to the hockey players streaking in the library found the incident amusing rather than disruptive.

Speaking to student news website The Tab’, postgraduate Nate Yeo described the incident as “really funny.”

“People in the room felt lost and just stared at them,” he explained.

Yeo promptly started to film the event in order to “share it with my friends”.

As an international student from China, the student labeled the incident “the most interesting and shocking moment since I came to Cardiff”.

Another student described the event as over “relatively quickly”. Despite being “quite cross” that the event disrupted their studies, they concluded that “anything else and I’d be annoyed but in this instance you have to laugh”.

One student voiced concern that the relatively harsh nature of the disciplinary action is in-part due to the media attention that the incident received. The story was picked up by both The Daily Mirror and WalesOnline.

A University spokesperson confirmed that a formal complaint had been received regarding the incident.

As a result, an investigating officer has been appointed to examine the complaint and consider whether any action needs to taken by the institution itself.

“As the investigation remains on-going it would be inappropriate to offer any further comment,” the spokesperson said.

They added: ‘we strive to maintain a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone.’

In response to concerns over the strict nature of the punishments, a Students’ Union spokesperson explained that the Union expects sports clubs to take ‘pro-active steps’ to deal with inappropriate behaviour within its membership.

They continued: ‘As a result the Hockey Club have undertaken a number of actions with individuals involved in this matter.

The resignation of both social secretaries will be taken into account upon the completion of the investigation, in order to assess whether any further   action needs to be taken.

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