Investigation launched into alleged 'chav' social at Leeds University

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Bosses at Leeds University Union have said they will investigate claims a so-called 'chav' themed social event was held by a women's sports club last week.

Reports have emerged online yesterday claiming that the union's women's hockey club had told members to dress up as "lower class" people for the alleged social.

Today, Leeds University Union has issued a statement to say they will consider disciplinary action against individuals or clubs if needed.

A spokesperson said: “LUU expects all of its clubs and societies to run inclusive and accessible activities, including socials. All clubs and societies commit to uphold the LUU Social Guidelines.

“Where we become aware that this is not the case, as in this instance, we will investigate this with the organisers and take disciplinary action against individuals or clubs as appropriate.”

The reports originated on youth news website The Tab, which 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”.

Leeds University, which is one of the UK’s leading Russell Group research universities, issued a statement yesterday, in which a spokesman said the alleged social event supposedly held by the women’s hockey club was “ill judged”.
He added: “We fully support the students’ union’s decision to hold an investigation.”

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”.

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 has been approached for comment but has not responded.