Passed by: Senedd
Passed on 01/11/2021
Policy lapses: 01/11/2024
Officer Responsible: Wellbeing Officer
A motion centred around helping to prevent spiking in Aber and also supporting those who have been.
We note that there has been a substantial increase in spiking cases in Aberystwyth, with many of our students having experienced it. This has been confirmed by both the University and the police. Due to the dangers of spiking, and the number of incidents that have occurred, we believe that it is important that we take any measures we can to both avoid such incidents and support those who fall victim to such incidents.
The first section of this idea is around avoidance, with the Student’s Union (SU) buying test strips that can detect common ingredients that are used to spike drinks. This will enable students to test their drinks on a night out if they are worried- meaning that they are able to stay safer and potentially reduce the chances of them consuming a spiked product. Additionally, test strips also provide a quick way to determine whether a drink was spiked if a person thinks they may have been, which will enable a person who’s been spiked to seek medical help immediately and earlier on. Whilst these strips will not pick up every potential substance that could be used to spike someone, it at least increases the protection level that students have on a night out.
To ensure that students can access these products, they should be available at the SU for collection- with them also being advertised on the SU website, by email and via digital channels. Moreover, these could be funded via grants from external organisations like the police or other alcohol awareness and sexual assault charities. If a funding source cannot be found, the meantime should be spent working with local bars, pubs, and club to try and get them to stock the strips. This will ensure that students are still safe no matter where they go out in town.
The second section of this idea is to ensure that when in town students are safe and can easily get help. A major part of this is making sure that students are aware of where to go if a spiking incident occurs. Therefore, the SU should also contact local bars, pubs and clubs and publish details of where to go and what to do in each of these venues on their website. This will make sure that students have somewhere that are able to easily reference if anything occurs, and that they are also able to read these before a night out so that they know what to do if something does happen. Moreover, the SU could also work with different venues and share good practises, with these hopefully improving the level of safety across Aberystwyth as a whole.
The last section of this idea concerns the support that victims of spiking receive. Under current academic procedures, in some departments, students who are a victim of spiking may be penalised academically if they miss a class due to the incident. This is due to attendance being a contributing factor in some modules towards the total module grade. Therefore, we believe that the SU should work with the University to change these procedures and ensure that students are not ever given an unauthorised absence if they are spiked. This should be the case even without any proof, such as a police report, with this policy recognising that not all victims of spiking feel comfortable reporting an incident to the police or even anybody at all.
Submitted by: Jasneet Kaur Samrai
||Name and Role
We have a spiking reporting form on the Campaigns page of the website allowing victims of spiking to report it directly to the Union. We still advise you to report it to the police.
The Students Union also provides anti-spiking kits for students to take out with them on nights out including drink toppers and drink testing kits.
The students union has also created and distributed anti-spiking poster for hospitality outlets in town telling people not to spike drinks and what the consequences of doing this are. We chose to create these new posters as we found many of the anti-spiking posters in town to be victim blaming.
|Anti-spiking kits are in the Officer hub and behind the bar. The Wellbeing Officer (202324) will also be looking into doing a safer streets meeting.
||Helen (Wellbeing Officer 2023-24)
To find out more about this policy, get in touch: