Bristol medics discouraged from speaking to the press following Spring Ball backlash

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By Megan Evans, News Editor

A faculty investigation has been launched into the events of the Galenicals Spring Ball, after ‘evidence of vandalism, theft, and drug taking’ at Grade I listed building sees Bristol medics' actions gain national attention.

Student attendees of the Galenicals (Bristol Uni medics’ society) Spring Ball allegedly took part in theft, damage of property, and cocaine use.

The event took place in Kings Weston House, a 303-year-old Grade I listed property, whose owners were forced to threaten students with police action for the return of stolen items.

The Ball, which took place on March 12, saw the destruction of furniture including three antique mahogany tables.

A bronze statue of two cherubs was stolen from the property, and has since been assumed destroyed after only one fragment was returned to the owners.

Cocaine was also found in the building’s bathrooms, where hand dryers had been ripped off the walls and soap dispensers smashed.

The University of Bristol was forced to reimburse the owners of Kings Weston House for the damage caused. In an email to all medical students, the Programme Directors and Senior Tutors stated that the university would be using tuition fees to cover the costs, as well as taking some money from Galencials society.

[While there have been suggestions that the event was over-booked and poorly manned by security,] the university have reminded students that they are ‘choosing to be regulated by’ the General Medical Council, and that their actions may have ‘consequences for [their] future.’

After a number of students were approached directly by journalists requesting eye-witness accounts of the nights’ events, medics were emailed by Faculty Manager Andrew Pearce to inform them that ‘nobody should feel pressurised’ into talking to the press, and that they are ‘perfectly within [their] rights to ignore the request.’

The email received mixed reception, with some students feeling that the university wished to protect its own reputation.

Galenicals have been banned from having any future events at Kings Weston House.

The faculty has launched an investigation into the events of March 12, with a report expected to be released in the next week.

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: ‘We have been made aware of unacceptable behaviour which occurred at the medical student ball earlier this month.

‘This is obviously incredibly disappointing but it must be stressed that the majority of attendees behaved impeccably and their reputation should not be tarnished by the actions of a few. We are investigating and considering what appropriate action needs to be taken.’

Featured Image: Epigram / Cameron Scheijde


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