Oxford college rugby team instructed to spike freshers' drinks in leaked email

Pembroke College rugby football club sent an email with the subject line "FREE PUSSY" to 50 club players earlier this week

A rugby club at Oxford University has caused outrage after an email was circulated to members earlier this week, suggesting that they spike freshers' drinks.

Pembroke College Rugby Football Club’s then-social secretary Woo Kim sent the email – which was entitled “FREE PUSSY” – on Monday, instructing members of the club about to “pick” a female fresher of their choice, and proposing a “challenge” for their annual social later in the week.

Read more: Is Oxford University a training ground for misogyny?

Mr Kim warned members to be “as clandestine as possible in your deed”, while instructing them to “please bring TWO bottles of wine - one for yourself and one for your guest”.

“You must open the bottle in advance, and include a substance of your choice,” he wrote. “It may be spirits or food or anything you like.”

“But not your sperm,” Mr Kim warned one player, adding earlier in the piece, “I know that every fresher at Pembroke is quaking in their boots thinking that they might be picked as our date.”

One member of the team was told: “Please bring a positive pregnancy test. This task shall be ongoing until you succeed.”

The email, which was sent to nearly 50 male student members of the club, has provoked outrage from Pembroke College’s JCR and women’s groups in Oxford.

Speaking to Oxford student newspaper Cherwell, which broke the story, Pembroke JCR president Rebecca Howe said: “We fear that the rugby committee do not seem to have grasped the seriousness of their offences, and will shrug this off as an overreaction of a female-led JCR committee.”

“The captain and [former] social secretary will be issuing an apology to the JCR, and plans to speak about the issue at our next JCR meeting. A constitutional motion to introduce measures to formally sanction each club or society wishing to be affiliated with the JCR is being considered. We will also reconsider the JCR’s contribution to the funding of PCRFC if this behaviour continues.”

One Pembroke College student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I'm gobsmacked that at any stage this seemed like a good idea to the people sending these emails. It's not a joke, it’s not something you can laugh off retrospectively.”

Mr Kim has since stepped down from his position on Pembroke’s Rugby Football Club committee.

A statement issued by the club said: “Pembroke Rugby Club accepts that the emails circulated earlier this week about our proposed Crew Date were entirely misguided and represent a serious case of poor judgement.”

In the statement, PCRFC explained that the “challenge” was intended as a “harmless drinking game joke, and was in no way intended to mean that the team member should lace their dates' drinks with anything illegal and/or to engage in any sexual abuse."

Oxford Union's Women's Officer Sarah Pine said: "This behaviour is obviously abhorrent, but not reflective of the Pembroke community as a whole. The comments are part of the policing of social interactions to reproduce misogyny, treating sexual violence as something amusing that should be a part of their team's celebrations. Yet I'm happy to report that many of the teams said they would not be attending the initiation after reading the email, showing that this perspective isn't the majority viewpoint in the team." 

Speaking to Cherwell, one of the players who received the email said: “In light of actually reading the incredibly long original email, the social sec is clearly a fool to have said what he said. It is also a shame that all the Pembroke lads are smeared with the same brush, when what he said is obviously not representative.”

The Master of Pembroke College, Dame Lynne Brindley, said: “Pembroke College condemns these irresponsible and disrespectful comments, as well as the apparent nature of the planned event, in the strongest possible terms.”

Pembroke College has said “appropriate disciplinary action” will be taken against those involved.

King Abdullah II of Jordan and Michael Heseltine, the former Conservative deputy prime minister, are both notable former students of the college.

Neither Woo Kim nor a spokesperson for Oxford University Rugby Football Club was available for comment.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Marketing & Social Media Executive

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a Marketing Graduate or...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer (Trainee) - City, London

£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Services Graduate Training Scheme

£20000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are a successful and establ...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border