UEA Rugby Complaints
This week, the Union received a number of complaints regarding the UEA Rugby Club. See the open letter to the Rugby Club committee below outlining our response:
Dear Committee and Members of UEA Mens Rugby Club,
Following a large number of complaints made against the Union of UEA Students’ Mens Rugby Union Club, the management committee of the Union has decided, with regret, to suspend all activity of the club with immediate effect. The suspension of all activity will last until the start of the 2013/14 academic year. The club will then be restarted in the 2013/14 academic year with special measures in place to ensure that the new club does not follow the same path as the current club.
Complaints against the club included offences of both sexist and racist natures. Management is absolutely clear that no provision of the Union should result in these kinds of complaints, and has acted to prevent these issues from occurring again with a Union service, club or society. Further to this, the Union has received consistent complaints about the club for a number of years, including serious criminal damage caused to a hotel at Christmas last year.
Members of the club who were at the events about which there have been recent complaints, namely Derby Day 2012 and the Mens’ 2nd XV game on the 14th of March, will be banned from the Sports Association and from playing Sport at UEA, unless those members of the club who are responsible are named in writing to the Union by the 23rd of March at 5pm.
The Union’s values are core to all activity that we provide, and they centre on inclusivity, with empowerment, quality and sustainability as values within that. The club has failed to uphold the values which guide the organisation, and has damaged the reputation of the Sports Association as a whole, as well as the University. The club as it stands is not a sustainable proposition for providing rugby at UEA.
The Union is however clear that the club’s reputation does not relate to all members of the club, and apologises that the actions of some members will lead to negative effects for those members of the club who have not caused complaints, however the situation has reached a critical mass which requires an immediate and marked change.
The Union’s management committee would like to stress that it is aware of the need to continue to provide the ability to play rugby at UEA, and alongside the Department of Physical Education and Sport, will endeavour to provide a way for students to play rugby, however for the 2012/13 year there will no representative rugby at the University, and no student run club.
Should the club wish to appeal the decision, the committee should write to the Chair of the Student Officer Committee and deliver a letter to Union House, to start the appeal process. Any appeal would have to be submitted within 7 days of the release of this letter, by 5pm on Friday the 23rd of March. The grounds for appeal would be to take into account any new evidence the club can submit.
Union of UEA Students Management Committee