A statement from the Union President: Drink Spiking

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I am aware that numerous conversations are taking place around safety in Loughborough, especially surrounding our nightclubs. As a result, I wanted to inform you about the measures LSU have in place to keep you safe, in response to increased spiking allegations over recent weeks.

As a direct response to this situation, we have implemented and improved safety measures throughout LSU (working in partnership with Loughborough University and student advocates such as CASH - Consent and Sexual Health) to enact change.

I would also like to thank everyone for their commendations of support in response to the petition championed by @girlsnightinloughborough.

As part of the ‘Girls Night In’ movement, I will be boycotting nightclubs on the 27th of October and implore others to do the same. No one should ever be made to feel unsafe in any environment. I want to see the boycott thrive and create the impact that reminds people (like us) that change is needed and necessary.

Spiking is illegal.

Any student found guilty of a drink spiking offense will be issued with a life ban from Loughborough Students’ Union and Loughborough University will terminate the studies of any individual found guilty. The police will also be informed (the maximum sentence for which, if found guilty, is 10 years in prison).

Fundamentally, the fault lies with those who are committing the act of spiking. It is wrong to blame the victim. If you have been spiked, it is not your fault. It is the responsibility of those who decided to do something illegal.

As part of this ongoing conversation, I wanted to share the actions that are in place at LSU to ensure our members feel safe when attending our venues.

These measures include:

  • Recruitment of Welfare Officers, to provide on-site, pastoral support for students during nights-out. Our Welfare Officers will have both First Aid and Mental Health First Aid training alongside completing the Drinkaware Alcohol Safety Awareness Training.
  • Security, prior to every event, are briefed on operational schemes (such as Ask Angela) and are also available as a first point of contact (along with any member of the LSU Staff Team) if you suspect your drink has been spiked. On receipt of this report, our on-site Medical Team will perform an assessment.
  • LSU has increased the number of searches conducted on entry to large-scale LSU events (including Hey Ewe, The Indie Club and FND). These searches will continue.
  • We have introduced StopTopps Drink Covers behind every bar alongside our existing bottle stops. These are free of charge for all students and can be requested from any member of the Bar Staff.
  • Visual awareness assets (including the installation of posters and digital artwork) have been installed across LSU making members aware of campaigns such as Ask Angela and StoppTopp – should students wish to utilise them.
  • LSU has implemented a new and improved medical service provision, delivered by qualified healthcare professionals, which provides on-site medical treatment and advanced welfare support for the best interest of student safety.
  • LSU will continue to operate a Zero-Tolerance Policy on spiking. Spiking is illegal and any individual caught will incur a Life Ban from LSU (removing access to all LSU Activities – including the LSU Website to purchase future event tickets) and the police will be informed.
  • Every incoming student, for the 2021-22 academic year, participated in a talk from LSU and CASH about sexual assault, and we will work with the University to make this mandatory.
  • You can use the Loughborough University Incident Reporting Portal for reporting incidents or contacting complaints@lsu.co.uk

As always, the work that we do comes as a direct result of conversations we have with our students. With this in mind, my door (and email) is always open to discuss any of these issues further. I am not naïve to the fact that more change is needed, however, I hope that by working together, LSU can foster an environment where every student feels safe.

Freya Mason
Union President