The accused male jeered at female members of the water polo team and then when questioned about his comments told them that they should “take it as a compliment”.
Both members of LUSU and YUSU were informed about the incident via a Facebook post from a third year York student. The student called on others to get in touch with both unions and for action to be taken against the Lancaster student.
An investigation into the actions of the accused male was undertaken by LUSU and the male in question has been told to make an official apology. In a statement from LUSU and YUSU they confirmed that the “individual concerned has taken responsibility for their actions and a formal apology has been extended to those involved”.
The Swimming and Water Polo Society also released a statement regarding the incident, saying that the issue has now been resolved and that the club would like to move on from the issue. They also said that “some people have associated the society with sexist and discriminatory behaviours” and “would like to take the opportunity to assure all concerned that this is not the case and the club has and always will promote inclusivity in sport”.
Despite some previous rumours the accused male is not being suspended from sport as LUSU believe that a private apology to those involved is sufficient action. Mia Scott, VP (Welfare and Community) told SCAN that “until we have a Code of Conduct written that clearly outlines how to deal with these incidents in the future we felt unable to take any further action”.
Further to this incident LUSU have decided that it may also be appropriate “to introduce a Code of Conduct, or similar, applicable to both participants and spectators, making it very clear the standards we accept and that discrimination in any form will not be tolerated.” The union said that it is “important that our students are clear as to what is and is not acceptable when taking part in our activities”.
Scott told SCAN that whilst a lot is done in within the union to prevent these situations from arising “more should definitely be done to prevent sexism and racism in sport – and any other forms of discrimination”. Scott also said that later this week the union will be “making a short video as part of the Lancaster Shouts Back liberation campaign, which will involve numerous staff members, officers and students speaking out against sexism and sexual harassment”. The University’s Provost for the student experience, Professor Amanda Chetwynd, who has been in contact with the York student, will also be involved in the making of the video.
The Swimming and Water Polo club released a statement, denouncing the actions of its member. It read: “this situation has thankfully been resolved, and the individual in question will be issuing a formal apology. The club would very much like closure and to move on from this now. Unfortunately, due to misleading comments/misinterpretation some people have associated the society with sexist and discriminatory behaviours. We would like to take this opportunity to assure all concerned that this is not the case and the club always has and always will promote inclusivity in sport, and this ethic is something which is shared by all members”.