St Paul’s College has temporarily closed the college bar — ‘The Salisbury’ — to all residents after reports of a hazing ritual involving student “platoons” and excessive alcohol consumption surfaced earlier this month.
The Salisbury — marketed as “a traditional centre for the convivialities of campus life” on the college website — is managed by a syndicate of seven students selected by the Students’ Club Committee with the Sub-Warden’s endorsement.
The Salisbury has been closed before but rarely with explicit disciplinary intentions and at a scale affecting the entire College.
In 2017, the Sub-Warden banned first year residents from the Wednesday Night Party after a string of incidents in which intoxicated residents broke down their room doors after losing their keys.
“All freshmen are banned from the Sals Bar this Wednesday night due to unacceptable collective behaviour last weekend,” said the Sub-Warden in an email.
Honi understands the Salisbury was closed again after sexist comments made by a resident in the St Paul’s students’ Facebook group received widespread media attention in 2017.
Unlike previous closures which were communicated by senior students through the S Club, the College is taking a more forceful role against student misconduct and student resistance to cultural reform.
In response to the recent hazing ritual, a spokesperson told Honi that students will be asked “to reflect on the place of alcohol in their lives.”
“This has necessitated the closure of the College Bar for a period of time,” the spokesperson said.
Honi understands the investigation into the hazing incident is ongoing. The College would not confirm whether students had been expelled or suspended as a result.
Replacing the S Club with a professional commercial provider to oversee the Salisbury and allow the College to close the Bar at any time was one of the recommendations of the 2018 Broderick Review into St Paul’s College.
The embattled College is expected to release a report outlining its progress in adopting the Broderick Review’s recommendations by the end of June.
SRC Councillor and Chairperson of the new Intercollegiate Collective, James Ardouin (Mod-Lib), would not comment on “an internal college matter.”