Leeds University said it was fully supportive of the event being scrutinised by the Leeds University Union after a report emerged online claiming that the union’s women’s hockey club had told members to dress up as “lower-class” people for the alleged social.
In a report on youth news website The Tab, it was claimed that photographs had been posted on image-sharing network instagram which appear to show members wearing tracksuits, carrying fake babies and covering their bodies with tattoos.
The website also carried what is claimed was a screen shot of an invitation to members on a private Facebook group, which referred to the dictionary definition of ‘Chav’ as “a young, lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour”.
The invite allegedly went on to read: “We educated fair maidens, studying in one of the countries grandest universities, would find such behaviour entirely alien.”
It appeared to encourage invitees to set aside all they believed to be “good, honest and noble”, “replace champagne flutes with cans of K cider” and to have “luminous underwear on show”.
According to the report, the union will investigate the social occasion.
Students’ chav-themed nights out have proven controversial elsewhere in the country. A cheerleader society social at another university was cancelled after complaints were allegedly made by concerned students, with a union equality officer reportedly branding the event “classist” and “demonising of caricatures”.
Leeds University, which is one of the UK’s leading Russell Group research universities, issued a statement to The Yorkshire Post yesterday, in which a spokesman said the alleged social event supposedly held by the women’s hockey club was “ill judged”.
The spokesman added: “We fully support the students’ union’s decision to hold an investigation.”
According to the Leeds University Union’s Women’s Hockey website, it is the second largest hockey club and largest university hockey club in the country, boasting more than 200 members from different years, degrees and backgrounds.
The club says its social events are “legendary” and include the regular Wednesday nights, fancy dress parties, curry nights and laser quest.
The club and the union were approached for comment but neither responded.