Bristol Men’s Hockey Club suspended over pending investigation into its ‘club culture’

The suspension is effective immediately while an investigation into the culture of the club takes place

Yesterday (April 23rd), UBMHC members received a notice that all their activities would be suspended pending an investigation into the social culture of the club.

The club has been immediately suspended from Bristol SU, meaning no matches, training or socials can occur until the investigation is complete. This included the cancelling of a varsity match against Bath today (24th April), and the potential cancellation of the international mixed hockey tour.

It is currently unclear what has triggered the temporary suspension, as the SU has said it “wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Last week, the Ladies’ Hockey Club (UBLHC) decided to temporarily pause mixed socials with the men’s club after a vote within their society but still agreed to the Bath varsity event, the mixed hockey tour, and a continued shared hockey team. The clubs had identified an issue in the culture and were taking voluntary steps to improve systemic issues within UBMHC.

UBLHC have told The Bristol Tab “We’re not long having socials with the men’s team, after the results of a democratic vote. We are doing this as the men’s team drastically need to improve their culture. We believe that the suspension of our socials will give the men’s team time reflect and improve”

Bristol SU has recently been under fire for its inadequate code of conduct which failed to include sexual assault or an acceptable framework to protect victims, something which the women’s hockey club strongly protested against.

UBLHC sent an open letter criticising the lack of protection for students and inadequate guidance for society leaders with a lack of clear protocols on how to handle sexual misconduct allegations.

In response to the suspension, an SU spokesperson said: “There is an ongoing investigation that relates to the University of Bristol Men’s Hockey Club (UBMHC). We understand that this will be unsettling for members of UBMHC and we thank their committee leaders for the way they have engaged with us on this matter so far.

“The university is aware of the investigation. The club’s activity is currently suspended while the investigation takes place. This is an interim measure as part of our process, rather than a sanction, and has no bearing on the outcome of the investigation. It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Bristol SU is currently reviewing its code of conduct and is asking student leaders and societies to engage with them in focus groups. You can also fill out a short survey to give your views. This new code of conduct will be in place by July.

If you would like to anonymously report abuse or speak to an advisor at the university see here. If you would like support or advice following sexual assault visit call the SARSAS helpline on 0808 801 0456.

The Bristol Tab has contacted UBMHC for comment. 

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