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Spiking: what are we doing?

An update from your Students' Union.

Please see our previous statement about spiking for further links to support and guidance.

The SU held an open student meeting on Tuesday 9th November, in order to find out what action students want us to take around the issue of spiking.

Going forward, we will be continuing to work with the University of Sheffield SU, the local council, local nightlife representatives and South Yorkshire Police to ensure student views and interests are at the forefront. Want to have your say on the following actions? Fill out our very short survey.

You said:

  • You wanted us to pressure the Council, University and key stakeholders on a number of issues, including better trained staff, free drink covers, stricter standards for venues outsourcing security and stricter standards for nightclubs.
  • You wanted us to look into working with the University and Council to put out an awareness campaign targeting spikers about the consequences of their actions, as well as a campaign around how to look after students who have been spiked.
  • You wanted us to link in with accommodation and halls of residence to promote Report and Support and the services available to students.
  • You wanted student consultation and feedback into University services which support survivors and victims of all forms of assault and spiking.

What your SU are doing:

  • A meeting of the Night Time Economy group will take place at the end of November and we will be looking into presenting your key feedback there. This meeting will include the police, the Council and representatives from venues and nightclubs.
  • We will work to promote a city-wide scheme to promote safe bar practices, such as staff fully trained to intervene when a spiking incident has occurred.
  • We will work to create standard visual messaging and communications about spiking, to be created with the Council, the University of Sheffield Students' Union, student campaign groups and local venues, in order to be displayed in as many places as possible. This will include information about where to report spiking, how to look after each other and the consequences for offenders.
  • We will work with Report and Support at SHU to create a specific category for spiking, where it can be reported anonymously.
  • We will be launching a student consultation into what kind of support students need from Report and Support, as well as their awareness and understanding of sexual harassment and violence.
  • We will lobby the University and accommodation providers to get information about Report and Support and spiking into where students are living, so all students know where to access support.
  • We have ordered drink spike covers for bottles. You can collect these from your Students' Union helpdesk at the HUBS. Ideally, let us know if you would like multiple spikies so we can order enough to meet demand.

You can report any incidents of spiking or harassment to Report and Support and get access to further support.

For support with your wellbeing and mental health, the Wellbeing service are here to help. You can access self-help and resources, or register to speak to a practitioner about the support you may need.

Want to be involved in a campaign against spiking or harassment? Please email us at studentrights@shu.ac.uk

Update: 30 November 2021

  • Your Officer team are feeding in student concerns and feedback at every opportunity and are continuing to regularly meet with our partners throughout Sheffield, in order to ensure a joined-up approach.
  • Our Officers will be meeting with Crystal next week to share your concerns, examine their current safety policies and look at how safety can be improved in the club.
  • Ou Officers are speaking regularly with South Yorkshire's Police Commissioner to look at South Yorkshire Police's response to spiking and harassment, as well as continuing to regularly meet with Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield - who is supporting a Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment and Spiking campaign for venues.
  • On 6th December, the Students' Union is assisting in holding a workshop with key representatives and communications/marketing staff from the Council, South Yorkshire Police, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Students' Union, in order to decide on a communications and information plan around spiking in Sheffield.

If you want to share your voice, please let us know by emailing studentrights@shu.ac.uk. We also want to know your opinions on how we combat spiking, so please fill in this short form.

Update: 07 December 2021

  • Your Officer team and the Student Rights and Campaigns team have brought together the Council, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Sheffield, University of Sheffield Students' Union and South Yorkshire Police to work, in partnership, on posters and a short-term marketing campaign. We assisted with hosting a city-wide meeting on Monday 6th December to plan this.
  • Your Officer team met with the owners of Crystal, the home of HallamNation, to discuss the recent spiking ocurrences at the HallamNation night. We will post updates from this meeting and changes that have been made ASAP. We will continue to make sure that we are meeting regularly with Crystal, to ensure student feedback about safety at HallamNation is communicated

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