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Statement on Varsity disruption

Disruption at today's Varsity sports matches led to the curtailment of the men’s rugby match and the temporary closure of students’ union outlets.

We are aware of a small number of injuries caused to spectators and send them our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

We condemn violent and intimidating behaviour and will be investigating what happened. We will be working with the police, campus security and the security team we hired for the event.

It is a shame that these actions spoiled a day of great sporting conduct and fair play by the Brighton & Sussex teams and many spectators.

Anyone with any information about what happened or who has been affected by today's events should contact Adele, Activities Officer - activities@sussexstudent.com

Update: 11:09am 20/03/17

The dangerous and disrespectful conduct of a small number of spectators endangered other spectators, staff and players and resulted in the men's rugby fixture being curtailed following discussions with the referee. This level of disruption and violence was unprecedented at previous Varsity fixtures, with bottles thrown at the crowds and security staff as well as other dangerous behaviour. The behaviour included misogynistic, homophobic and racist language. We, along with the Vice-Chancellors of Sussex and Brighton condemn these actions.
Prior to Varsity, the Students' Union team had worked with campus security and the University's sports service to plan the day including safety and security measures such as stewards, a thorough risk assessment and fencing. We also hired external security assistance for the first time for Varsity to reflect the increasing interest in the event.
The decision to move Brighton spectators into an unfenced area was not made by anyone from the Students' Union. We will be reviewing how this happened as it was not in our event protocols. 
A small number of spectators were injured as a result of this behaviour and they received first aid on site from trained staff with a smaller number being sent to hospital as a precautionary measure.
It is a shame that this misconduct marred the great behaviour and sporting conduct of the majority of the spectators and all of the players on both sides. 
We' like to congratulate all of the players from both Sussex and Brighton and hope that their efforts and achievements are not too tarnished by the actions of a few.
We'd also like to thank the Sussex students who helped clear up the event area after the fixtures and those that provided assistance to staff and paramedics. 


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