Cambridge ‘drinking society initiation’ exam question

by Sebastian Salek

Trigger warning.

Drinking societies have secured themselves an even deeper place in Cambridge culture after an initiation was used as the subject of an exam question on sexual offences.

The question appeared in the 2013 Criminal Law paper which was sat this morning by over 200 students, the majority of whom are in their first year.

Sexual offences have to be examined on in either an essay-style or problem question format, so there will often be a hypothetical scenario set.

The events and the drinking society involved are both fictional.

It reads:

Sandra is President of The Vizards, a College drinking society. She is organising the initiation of new members. After a great deal of alcohol has been drunk, the members of the society form a circle around Billy, Gilbert and Richard who are to be initiated.

(i) Sandra blindfolds Billy and tells him that Tracey will suck his penis. Jonny does so.

(ii) Sandra penetrates Gilbert’s anus with a bottle. Although Gilbert appears to resist, and has to be held down by Tracey, he actually enjoys the experience.

(iii) Sandra waxes Richard’s pubic hair and pulls it off with such force that she removes a significant part of his skin. The wound becomes infected, but Richard is so embarrassed that he does not get medical help and dies.

Consider what offences, if any, have been committed.

Edit: Wow, this blew up. Featured in: BBC NewsThe Times (free version here), The IndependentThe TelegraphThe SunThe MirrorThe Daily MailMetroThe Huffington PostDer SpiegelThe Times of IndiaThe Irish IndependentBusiness InsiderBusiness StandardCambridge NewsThe Cambridge Tab.