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KCL Student Campaign Succeeds in New Anti-Spiking Policies

The Stop The Music anti-spiking campaign has succeeded in implementing landmark spiking prevention measures in KCL student bar.

On 8 March 2023 the King’s College London student venue, Guy’s Bar, piloted a test program with the King’s Unit of St. John Ambulance to provide the presence of healthcare professionals at the student Sports Nights. While the program has not yet been ratified, two other important changes were also implemented at the Sports Nights. These include:

  1. Guy’s Bar has extended clearly marked Safe Zones for vulnerable students or students in need of assistance, also providing a base for the St. John volunteers.
  2. There will be a standardised approach to supporting vulnerable students leaving the venue; their name and student number will be written down, and a duty manager will contact them the next day for a welfare check.

Stop the Music and the King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU) released a joint statement after the pilot night outlining the goal of these new policies, and emphasising a continuous commitment to improving safety at student venues.

These changes come about as a result of the KCL student campaign Stop the Music’s efforts to implement a list of proposed measures aimed at targeting a persistent issue of spiking at KCL venues over the past year. In an interview in September 2022, Stop the Music told Roar that one of the key tenets of their campaign is a desire to address the culture which facilitates spiking in universities. In a statement regarding their new policies at Guy’s Bar, Stop the Music told Roar that:

“We welcome these new measures, especially the presence of the St John team, as major progress in assuring the safety of women on campus. Whilst we have proved that valuable action can be made, the key for the future will be ensuring that this progress continues and grows into the next academic year.”

The campaign hopes to establish a permanent relationship with St. John in order to create a safer environment at student venues. If successful, they hope that other universities would be open to similar partnerships with ambulance centres.

Stop the Music has been campaigning for these anti-spiking changes to student venues for over a year now. In November 2022 the group released an open letter addressed to KCLSU leaders calling for the adoption of a series of new spiking preventions: the “employment of experienced first-aid professionals at our student nightclub events”; the “establishment of a log-out system for incapacitated nightclub attendees”; and the campaign’s flagship policy, to “stop the music, turn on the lights, and announce suspected cases of spiking at our venues.”

The open letter was an escalation in a long process of communication and negotiation between Stop the Music and the KCLSU. The campaign released a detailed policy document in September 2022 to update their anti-spiking campaign goals from the 2021-2022 academic year. The abridged outline of their aims can be read here.

Alongside their open letter and policy design, Stop The Music has received over 240 endorsements of their campaign from presidents of societies and activity groups during the 2022 Freshers Fair, as well as running a Write For Rights workshop with KCL Amnesty International.

Stop the Music can be contacted via their Instagram @stopthemusiccampaign or email [email protected]

Information about volunteering for St. John Ambulance can be found here.

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