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

SThree: Recruitment Consultant (Trainee / Experienced)

£18000 - £27000 per annum + doe OTE £45K: SThree: SThree are always looking fo...

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are a recent psychology graduate ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Graduate Graphic Designer

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Largest Independent Motor D...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own