Trouble for Somerville students on Halloween


Students at Somerville have been subjected to decanal action after their involvement in recent Halloween celebrations.

After receiving noise complaints, the deans shut down the party and noted the violation of several college rules. As a consequence, those involved were fined £20 each.

An email sent by the dean, Dr Annie Sutherland, to members of the Somerville JCR and residents of the Vaughan building states that, “On Thursday 30 October, a large group of Vaughan residents decided to have a Halloween party, breaking several college rules and incurring complaints from other students as well as fellows who live in the adjacent buildings. Alcohol was consumed, loud music was played until 2am in the morning and students from other colleges were present.

“Despite the duty dean’s requests to clean up the building after the party had been closed down, the Decanal Office was informed by the Housekeeping Department that the scouts were forced to clean up vomit on Friday morning.”

Somerville’s college rulebook states that all parties or gatherings must end at 10.45pm on weekday evenings, with quiet music permitted between 8am and 11pm, whilst events involving the consumption of alcohol are prohibited without the prior permission of the Catering and Conference Manager.

The college rules also maintain that a maximum of 8 persons are allowed to be in a student room at any one time, and that any guests from outside college must be signed in at the Porter’s Lodge in order to comply with fire safety regulations.

Due to the violation of these rules, the deans have proposed monetary fines for all those involved, giving these students until 10am on Wednesday 13th November to step forward. If a list of participants is not provided, however, all residents of the Vaughan building will be fined as the “next smallest entity”.

The email continues, “The only repercussion this time will be a small monetary fine, which, the Decanal Office has decided, will be incorporated into the JCR budget and will thus stay within the JCR. We hope that this decision will encourage all students involved to come forward out of fairness to their fellow residents of Vaughan building who were not present at the party.”

One Somerville student has claimed that, as first year only accommodation, the Vaughan building may already receive more attention from the deans when compared to other parts of the college, due to noise-levels.

Another student living near to the scene of the party comments that, “Music was played rather loudly upstairs and it seems that this was simply a Halloween party that escalated a little further than the college would allow. Although rather inconsiderate towards members of Vaughan who were in bed at the time, many students were awake past 2 o’ clock given the nature of the occasion (Halloween).

“I believe it’s therefore somewhat unrealistic for the deans to require gatherings to be limited to eight people and for parties to end at 10:45pm, particularly on a night such as this, and for the consumption of alcohol to require so much regulation inside college.”


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