Cherwell

Exeter undergrads threatened with ‘serious consequences’ after bop mayhem

Exeter College Chapel, the scene of the chaos [Photo: Mike Knell/Flickr]

Exeter College undergraduates have been told there will be “serious consequences” following their behaviour at Friday night’s bop.

Sub-rector Barnaby Taylor said in an email to all undergraduates, seen by Cherwell, that attendees’ conduct was “wholly unacceptable”.

Cherwell understands that for the second year in a row, a fire alarm on a back quad staircase in Exeter’s main Turl Street site was set off soon after the bop concluded, just after midnight.

One of the college’s junior deans then entered the chapel the college’s fire assembly point brandishing a can of deodorant, presumed to have been left by the relevant fire alarm.

At the time of release of the bop’s theme – ‘anything but clothes’  the Exeter College Entz Facebook page told students: “Use bin bags, toilet paper, news paper, boxes, bags and even that shite essay you don’t have the heart to give to your tutor. But please no nakedness though.”

But by the time they had reached the chapel, most of the attendees were only partially dressed, and chants of Frankie Valli’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’ were in full swing.


The junior dean and the college bar’s manager proceeded to shout furiously at students, condemning their conduct.

Footage seen by Cherwell shows one of the junior deans addressing students in the chapel. In the video, the dean says: “The other issue I have is not with the person who set the fire alarm off: it’s with all of you.”

Predictably, the response was not overwhelmingly positive: the rest of the video shows furious booing and shouting from students.

The news comes just days after St Peter’s College JCR was fined £594, after drunken students damaged the JCR’s ceiling.

In his email, Taylor told undergraduates: “Those who were at the JCR bop on Friday night will not need me to tell them that the behaviour of many attendees was wholly unacceptable.

“I was saddened to learn of Exeter students acting with such disregard for the good order of our community,” he said, “and with such disrespect towards those members of College staff whose job it is to help you and to keep you safe.

“Naturally these events will have serious consequences, both for the students responsible and for the future of JCR social events at Exeter. Any students who have since come to regret their behaviour are invited to contact me in order to discuss it.”


It is not the first time that Taylor, who is in his first year as sub-rector, has faced difficulties regarding undergraduates’ behaviour.

In February, Cherwell reported on an email he sent to undergraduates after a bottle of vodka had been discovered in the college library.

“Drinking alcohol in the library is not allowed. I am astonished that I should have to point this out,” he wrote.

Neither Taylor nor the college’s junior deans responded to Cherwell’s requests for comment.

Following Friday’s bop, one second-year student told Cherwell: “Despite there being some slight causes for concern over safety and security, the manner in which the junior deans handled the situation was awful.

“How on earth can you be so short-sighted to believe you could argue and order about a group of drunken students with such a condescending tone?

“They took it all far too personally when in reality no-one was causing any damage and no one was in danger. They should have told us all to fuck off rather than give a personal diatribe about their disgust in our behaviour.”


A fresher at St. John’s College, who attended the event, told Cherwell: “That bop, unlike many, including most of those at my college, was truly fun.

“The room was packed the whole night, people had put serious effort into their costumes, and there was a real sense that people were getting on.

“Almost every college prospectus goes on about being tight-knit and sociable, but that night, Exeter proved that it actually was.”

Exeter’s Entz officers declined to comment.

Exeter has developed something of a rowdy reputation for itself over the past year.

Last June, a Cherwell investigation revealed that its students go clubbing more often 1.7 times per week than students at any other college.

The month before, undergraduates were warned by a junior dean not to post about drug use online, after alluding to ketamine use on public Facebook groups.