Cardiff University Rugby Club have been banned from “student union licensed premises” for the remainder of the semester, following complaints made about the club by members of the public. It is understood that this includes both of the Union’s YOLO and Juice student nights.
In a statement to Gair Rhydd, a spokesperson for the Athletic Union said: “Following a recent complaint received from a member of the public, the Athletic Union met with the Cardiff University Rugby Club committee. At this meeting, the Rugby Club provided a number of suggestions in order to respond to this and other recent complaints.
“The Athletic Union was pleased that the committee of the club understood the need to take action and both the AU and the club agreed on a set of actions as a result.
“This includes restrictions on social activity and training and as well as a number of proactive initiatives to demonstrate the clubs and the member’s commitment to changing behaviours.”
Expanding on these initiatives, Chairman of the Rugby Club, Chris Williams added: “We are planning on working in the local community, including working with the ‘Clean up Cathays’ initiative and the university estates department.
“The rugby club are planning to work with Cardiff University Sport to improve/maintain the facilities e.g. Painting the changing rooms at Llanrumney. We have also started a relationship with a Charitable organisation, raising money through joint fundraisers with them.
“Through these initiatives we hope to change the perception of the Rugby Club while also providing rewarding experiences for all our members.”
Head of Sport at Cardiff University, Stuart Vanstone, told Gair Rhydd: “The University have been the Students Union and Cardiff University Rugby Club following recent complaints about conduct and activities. This has led to some restrictions on various activities and we are pleased the club are taking positive steps to change behaviours and their reputation.”
The Athletic Union was also quick to highlight that complaints made concerned a “minority of the club’s membership”, and that it was “pleased that the club are making efforts to change their behaviour and reputation.”
It is not yet known how both the club and the SU plan on administering the ban, however it is believed that both are working together to find a suitable way to do so.
The news comes after the Athletic Union last year announced plans to issue bans to sports clubs whose members’ “off-field behaviour” was not up to standard, following a wider clampdown by the National Union for Students on ‘lad culture’.
Former Athletic Union President, Sam Parsons, last year told Gair Rhydd: “We want to make sure our clubs, and our AU members are positive role models for the wider student community.”
Questionable behaviour, particularly from sports clubs, has been a point of contention in recent years, with Gair Rhydd last year reporting that members of the universities’ Cricket Club had hung Ulster Unionist flags outside popular pre-YOLO destination Koko Gorillaz.
In 2013, the Annual General Meeting also moved to suppress such culture, following criticisms that the SU did not offer a large enough variety of non-alcoholic social events.