We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Notorious Exeter safer sex ball cancelled


A long-running "safer sex"-themed student ball has been cancelled, a month after it was embroiled in controversy.

The University of Exeter has confirmed its Safer Sex Ball (SSB) "will not be held in the future", after footage apparently showing two participants having sex on CCTV went viral four weeks ago.

The University of Exeter's students' guild launched an investigation to look into the incident after footage from the event, held just before Christmas and designed to promote safer sex, was circulated on the internet.

A guild spokesman today said: "It is with regret that the SSB can no longer exist in its current format.

"In recent years, the negative reputational damage has overshadowed the outstanding work that the committee and RAG (student-run charitable organisations) do to generate charitable funds and student opportunities.

"Therefore the guild and RAG are working together to formulate a way in which these student opportunities and charitable funds remain, in an interesting way for the University of Exeter student body."

The spokesman added: "In its current format, the SSB will not be held in the future. But, we are working with RAG to develop an alternative."

The ball had long been a staple of the students' fundraising calendar. But it has also courted unwanted attention for its risqui antics which some said negated the positive message the ball intended to spread.

The news was broken yesterday in the university's independent student paper, Exepose. Those opposing the decision have taken to social media to express their displeasure that the fundraiser - in its current form - has run its course.

Eve Bishop, writing on Twitter, said: "Safer sex ball has been cancelled! I wanted to go next year what a joke."

Oli Loughran added: "Big shame it has come to this - finally cracked."

The University of Exeter is considered one of the UK's leading institutions, and recently accepted an invitation to join the prestigious Russell Group representing the country's foremost research-intensive universities. It has also been named in the top 10 of several recent "good university" guides.

Following the CCTV footage going public, a union spokesman said measures had been in place during the ball to provide high levels of security.

But he added: "We are aware that irresponsible behaviour has taken place and we are working hard to rectify the situation."

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed it had no plans to investigate the matter because a complaint of alleged criminal activity had not been made.