Oxford students warned about behaviour after Varsity skiing trip
For almost 90 years the annual Varsity skiing trip has offered some of Britain’s brightest students the chance to socialise on the slopes.
Undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge have traditionally taken part in a series of alpine challenges aimed at promoting fun and building bonds.
But during the most recent trip, activities became so raucous, that one concerned college has told it students they must learn to behave in a more dignified manner.
The dean of St Anne's College in Oxford, whose alumni include former British minister Edwina Currie and broadcaster Martha Kearney, has told students to remember as representatives of Oxbridge, more is expected of them than those from other universities.
The warning came after a number of the college's students, who won the highly coveted Valley Rally challenge during the Varsity trip, were pictured cavorting half-naked in the snow and smearing food over one another.
Hundreds of onlookers also witnessed students simulating sex acts on one another and even eating snow which it was claimed had been urinated on.
All those members of the college, who went on December’s trip to the French Alps, have been summoned to explain their behaviour and told such antics fall short of what is expected of Oxbridge students.
The depraved behaviour took place as students from opposing colleges competed against one another for a £5,000 prize in the annual Valley Rally.
Billed as a great afternoon on the slopes, participants were encouraged to team up and traverse the mountain, completing challenges set at various checkpoints.
One of the tasks saw a student clenching an egg between their buttocks, while another used a wine bottle to break it.
But when photographs from the activities were published in the Sunday Telegraph one of the companies sponsoring the event, Scott Dunn – an upmarket travel firm - announced it was pulling out of any future association.
Now Dr Geraldine Hazburn, Dean of St Anne’s, has also taken action by summoning every student to get feedback on what happened.
In an hour-long meeting she informed the students such activities violated college regulations.
She explained it was their responsibility to ensure they did not "intentionally or recklessly engage in conduct likely to bring the college into disrepute".
No students have been formally disciplined over the incidents but some of have expressed anger at what they see is unfair focus on the behaviour of Oxbridge students.
One female undergraduate, who was among the 2,500 students on December’s Varsity ski trip, said: “I don't think it's a matter for the college to be dealing with. Other universities go on these trips and I'm sure they get up to worse stuff. The scandal will blow over.”
Another said: "The Dean wasn't happy. She told us it was college policy to investigate claims the regulations had been breached.
"She basically told us that as Oxford University students we were expected to behave 'with more dignity' than other universities.
“What she failed to understand is that the harder people work the harder people play. No one got hurt, it's just typical Oxbridge bashing."
Dr Hazburn declined to comment to about the meeting.