Students' groping leads to alcohol ban

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The Independent Online

A week-long ban on alcohol has been introduced at a Cambridge University student bar after allegations of sexual harassment by up to 20 female undergraduates.

Students at Corpus Christi College voted for the ban as a result of what they described as a "very serious matter".

Most of the allegations – made to members of the College's student Junior Common Room – involved verbal abuse. But in one extreme case, a female student was overpowered and then groped by a male.

Adrian Ellis, president of the Junior Common Room at Corpus Christi, said: "We've tried to be positive and raise awareness of the issue and do something about it ourselves.

"This is a preventative measure agreed by the students themselves. At the open meeting we had they weren't just calling for the bar to be opened."

The decision comes two weeks after female undergraduates at a neighbouring college were reprimanded by fellows for excessively drunken behaviour.

In that case, the college imposes discipline. Peter Tyler, Dean of St Catharine's College, told students they must desist from "silly drinking games" which had led to two students needing hospital treatment for alcohol poisoning. There had also been complaints about the "excesses of drunken naked girls" – said to be members of the Alley Catz, an all-female student drinking club – romping around the college.

As a result of the Corpus Christi allegations, made anonymously, an emergency Junior Common Room open meeting of 120 students took part in the vote to stop serving alcohol for a week. Letters were sent to students by both student and college bodies which informed them of the "untold seriousness" of the unprecedented number of complaints.

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