Almost every pub in central Oxford has banned trashed students, while one pub is even refusing to serve anyone wearing a gown, as part of a new Pubwatch initiative.
The decision is aimed at reducing both the cost of cleaning up after trashing, and the disruption caused to residents.
Darren Kent, the chair of Pubwatch and landlord of the Turf, described the initiative which involves pub managers across the city.
He said, “together with the Proctors, we’ve decided to clamp down on trashing.”
“All [tourists] can see is flour and disgustingness…[students] have no reason to go as far as they do” he added.
Kent said that the proctors’ treatment of trashing had been hampered by stretched resources and “they asked us to help them with the clampdown.”
A recent email from the Proctors condemned food abuse and noted, “two people broke limbs last year by slipping on flour wet from champagne and eggs, including a woman who skidded and crashed on her bicycle in New College Lane.”
Other pub managers have supported the move. The manager of the Wheatsheaf said, “we don’t want people coming in covered in baked beans and cat food and getting it all over our furniture.”
The landlord of the Bear Inn added that his staff had to spend up to two hours jet-hosing down areas of the pub.
The King’s Arms has gone even further, banning any student with gowns and balloons from entering around exam time.
The manager of the King’s Arms denied that the measure was extreme. He said, “it’s a precaution against their [students’] behaviour.”
Students have reacted angrily to the new initiative, though they insist it will not deter trashings.
One student, who recently trashed a friend with a water pistol full of mayonnaise, cast doubt on the stringency of the Pubwatch ban.
“I got into the Turf covered in flour and I got egged in the Turf. They’re not going to turn away ten people just because one of them is covered in flour,” he said.
The student also denied that there was much evidence of a major clampdown by proctors. He said, “I’d be fairly deterred from [trashing] outside exam schools,” but claimed he managed to egg a friend undetected on High Street.
Students have also reported that exam locations further from the centre have “no proctor presence.”
A spokesperson for the Oxford emphasised that this was an initiative by pubs, not the University, but added, “the University is supportive of this.”
Nightsafe, which coordinates an initiative to reduce violence in Oxford, endorsed the move by Pubwatch.
The manager of Nightsafe said that Oxford is a “tourist town” and “[the tourists] don’t want to sit in flour and eggs.”
VIDEO: Finalists get trashed
Video by Rachel Fraser