Somerville students have been fined £1,000 after a food fight broke out at the ebd of term dinner.
College property was damaged during the food fight, including an ornate silver jug and one of the Hall’s portraits.
A member of staff injured her wrist after slipping on food and was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital as a precautionary measure.
College authorities were unable to identify which students were involved in the disorder. Instead they have fined the collective JCR budget, angering some students who were not at the event.
One third-year student expressed his annoyance at the decision. “I hadn’t even been to the dinner and can’t see why my JCR is spending part of my tuition fees on the fine.
“My fees are going on something that I’ve nothing to do with and I am not responsible for.”
James McDonnell, last term’s Dean at Somerville, justified the decision to impose a collective punishment, emphasizing that “the most just solution would be for the culprits to come forward” but that students had refused to incriminate their friends.
He expressed regret that despite the presence of several elected JCR representatives at the meal “who could help identify those who were guilty” they “miraculously saw nothing” of the event.
“I do understand the culture of not wanting to identify fellow students to the College authorities, but it does limit our ability to deal with this in the most just way possible. In the absence of any cooperation I’m afraid the JCR fine is what we are left with.”
Somerville student Dexter Harries explained that the incident “was not malicious” but that “the situation just got out of control”.
“Everyone was drunk and messing around but they didn’t want anyone to get hurt. I think they all feel pretty bad about that. But I’m not sure that punishing the whole JCR was the right move.”
In an email to undergraduates JCR President Stavros Orfanos accepted the fine while expressing his regret that the “money has to be spent this way” rather than “on opportunities that could benefit us all”.
He provided a breakdown of the fine, including £280 to pay for the clean-up operation. Repairing the damaged silverware cost the college £585.