GSU Officers Statement on Nightclub Safety and Spiking

Trigger Warning: Assault, Harassment, Violence, Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault and Night Safety

Trigger Warning: Assault, Harassment, Violence, Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault and Night Safety 

As you may have seen on social media and in the news, there have been reports and conversations growing around spiking, safety in nightclubs and reports involving people being injected with substances in nightclubs.  

Your GSU officers wanted to publish this statement in response to this and to outline our commitment to a safe night out, the measures currently in place in our venues, and further steps we intend to take. For GSU, ensuring all our members have fun and feel safe is incredibly important. We want to ensure our spaces are safe, and people feel safe in them.  

We would like to show solidarity with survivors, those who have experienced feeling unsafe, and those who may be worried about their safety. GSU is committed to providing a safe space for you and your peers to enjoy, where you feel comfortable to relax and meet other people.  

The news stories highlight a reality that for many, socialising at night comes with risks. We want to ensure you that if you do not feel safe, or you want to seek support or advice, GSU is here for you. You can contact the University’s wellbeing team or our independent advice team should you feel you need support around this issue.  

GSU venues currently take the following steps: 

  • Run the “Ask Angela/ Andrew” scheme where if you feel uncomfortable in our bars, you can get support from a staff member. 

  • We will take a survivor led approach. We will ensure survivors are supported and if they choose to that they feel empowered to report to GSU, the University or police. 

  • We have agency security guards with bodycams who are contracted and sign a code of conduct working at our evening events.  

  • There is always an emergency first aider on shift during events. 

  • We are working with Greenwich Council to provide spike testing kits and drink covers.  

 

We will be taking some specific actions in light of this: 

  • Continue working with our venues to provide additional training and awareness to staff as well as undertaking regular research into the range of additional measures to further increase the safety of our events so you can trust our spaces are safe.  

  • Exploring a listening ears service where students can call up and speak with someone should they feel they need independent and confidential advice.  

  • Zoë and Nele have been working with the University on tackling issues around safety at night as well as with our venues on making our spaces welcoming to all our students. 

  • The Women’s Liberation Network are planning work on night safety and the University and Union have committed to the Night Safety Charter – Read more here: london.gov.uk/what-we-do/arts-and-culture/24-hour-london/womens-night-safety-charter  

GSU will be running an event that invites members of the student body to discuss how we could make GSU spaces and events feel safer for you in the next few weeks. If you are interested in speaking to us about what more we could be doing please reach out to Zoë - Z.C.Campbell@greenwich.ac.uk 

We also want to share some resources that may also be useful at this time: 
University Student Wellbeing Service - gre.ac.uk/student-services/support/student-wellbeing    
Student Suppot for Sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual assault - gre.ac.uk/student-services/support/sexual-harassment-sexual-violence-and-sexual-assault 
GSU Advice Service – greenwichsu.co.uk/advice   
Samaritans - available 24 hours a day. 116 123 / samaritans.org    
Women’s Resource Centre - wrc.org.uk    
Medway Specific Support - mhm.org.uk/kent-safe-havens    

Your GSU Officers 2021/22 – Nele, Zoë, Aatika, Jabed   

 

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