Image: University of Warwick Men's Rugby Union / Facebook

What happened at society initiations this year?

Societies and sports clubs have been conducting initiations over the past few weeks, where freshers and other new members are often forced to do embarrassing or humiliating things.

The Boar spoke to some clubs to find out what has been going on this year.


The Men’s Rugby Union Club (WURFC) has in the past been notorious for its initiations, leading to the club being banned from socials on campus in 2014.

A first-year student, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Boar that he had his head and eyebrows shaved during the initiations.

He said: “The initiations involved people being slapped with raw chickens whilst blindfolded and having to drink buckets of mixed alcohol.”

Oliver Gregory, a member and third-year History student, said: “Our first years were split into 5 families, and they got picked up from campus separately by second years. When in Leamington, each family went to different houses.

“Once at the houses we circled as normal, and had various challenges, such as press ups/planks, or singing a song.“

He added: “Freshers feedback has been great, nigh on 100% have continued to take part in the club both socially and playing wise.”


Humza Moazzam, a third-year Maths student who joined the Men’s Hockey club said the initiations were: “Vile but one of the best things I’ve done at university”.

Older students took freshers to a field, told them to be silent and made them lay down on the floor and do press-ups.

He described this as: “Intimidating but exciting”.

“Some of the tasks we had to do seemed disgusting and I was sometimes questioning why I was there but it was very team building.”

He added: “It was gross but everyone was being gross together.”

He said that the club took into consideration people’s needs, such as checking the food or drink preferences of members. They also had to pair up with one of the older boys, called “caddies”, and they looked after the initiates if they were struggling.


A third-year sports club exec member, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Boar: “When I was initiated it just felt like a laugh and everyone was taking part but I had tunnel vision like I wasn’t seeing if people weren’t having fun.

“Whereas this year when I was in charge of a group I was more aware of people’s reactions and how not everyone enjoys it.”

She added: “I didn’t realise how degrading it was until I watched it as a sober person.

“Also, because I’m from a male dominated club it was noticeably worse and degrading for the females simply because the people in charge weren’t changing how they were interacting with the initiates.

“Barking orders and stuff seemed funny to most of the guys but when it’s to a girl like ‘get on the floor, eat this,’ it was quite intimidating and I can imagine, felt more humiliating.”


With Students’ Union (SU) regulations increasing, many clubs and societies have decided to move from the traditional sort of initiations and adoptions. There has been a rise in alternate types of events.

For example, the Warwick Rowers took part in a competitive circling challenge with new members as a welcome onto the team. Daisy Whitchurch, a first-year Philosophy and Literature student, took part in the social.

She said: “We did a pub golf three-legged bar crawl. So in each bar you had a certain drink to down in as many gulps as the par said.”

Freshers were tied to a senior rower in the three-legged race between each bar.

She added: “It was so fun but very messy!”


There is still a considerable divide between society and sports club type initiations. Georgia Carrington, the Social and Welfare Secretary for Musical Theatre Warwick, said: “We’re doing basically, rather than a bar crawl, an Olympic themed house crawl.

“We move house to house in assigned teams and basically get them to perform various fun challenges. It is a great way for everyone to get to know each other and this is much less pressure than your average initiation.”


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