John’s freshers’ week short but sweet

Jonathan Laurence 13 October 2007

St John’s College freshers’ week was cut down this year as college authorities forced the JCR to cancel the final bop, after a first year student alleged that she had been “victimized” in a bizarre pudding-related initiation ritual.

Although eating puddings minus cutlery had previously formed a standard part of John’s matriculation dinner heritage, this fresher felt so appalled at the prospect of hands-free dessert consumption that she appealed to the relevant authorities, who responded by promptly outlawing the fresher bop. The decision left John’s students searching for alternative sources of fun.

A current undergraduate at St. John’s, who asked not to be named, claimed that the disciplinary measures went far beyond dealing students their just desserts.

He claimed that cancelling the bop was “not at all justified” as it punished the whole college for something in which few students were involved. He finally put the icing on the cake by questioning whether any punishment was necessary at all.

Another first year student, who also asked to remain anonymous, did not hold back when she said that the dessert victim should have “just said no”. She capped her comments off by saying that if the fresher “didn’t feel victimized before, she will do now”.

Those not directly affected by the banning of the bop have been much more keen to rush to the embattled fresher’s defence. One Christ’s student pointed out that “traditions that might seem like good banter after a while would probably come across as humiliating and degrading to someone who had just arrived. Especially if they were feeling intimidated by the whole new atmosphere”.

Putting the cake crisis aside, John’s JCR President Martin Kent said that he felt confident that freshers’ week had gone “fantastically well”, though he declined to provide further comment on the matter.

Jonathan Laurence