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Bowland College have announced that they will not be taking part in their annual intercollegiate tournament, Founders, with Lonsdale College.
According to a Facebook post made on the Bowland College page, they have decided to not participate due to disagreements between the two colleges over bye-laws which were introduced to govern the event last year. Whilst these dealt with issues that had marred the tournament in previous years such as “harassment, bullying, intimidation and a culture of binge drinking”, the particular bye-law that has raised issues is with regards to the participation of postgraduates. The bye-law states that only currently registered members of the college may participate, so postgraduate students cannot participate for their undergrad college.
According to Bowland’s statement, Lonsdale have rejected this bye-law, leading to Bowland’s decision to withdraw. Bowland’s statement further goes on to say that Lonsdale “toward the end of these negotiations, showed a disregard for rules surrounding hooliganistic [sic] and intimidatory [sic] behaviour.”
Social media posts by students have branded the decision “an embarrassment”, with a number of graduates who were members of Bowland expressing dissatisfaction with the decision.
A member of Lonsdale College JCR posted in a Lonsdale Facebook group: “what is clear is that as colleges we have different views on the direction the event should take…”
“This will only continue to create tensions when organising Founders in coming years, and will continuously lead to a ‘Bowland’s way or no way’ mentality.”
Bowland’s statement states that they are looking in to arranging an alternative event. In addition to this, the Lonsdale College Facebook page has made a post in the official Founders event page stating that they “will not let internal JCR issues ruin our Founders weekend” and that they “can finance the event on behalf of both colleges, keeping the current timetable and ensuring safety is prioritised.”
Last year, the intercollegiate tournament Legends was cancelled after both Fylde and County colleges abandoned the competition. This led to the creation of two separate tournaments; the Fylde-County Cup, and Warriors, contested between Pendle and Grizedale colleges.
Updates will be posted to this story as it develops.