‘And when we drink with Johnno, he drinks at his own pace’, chant students at Zen Society initiations

University societies countrywide have increasingly come under fire for their use of hazing style initiation ceremonies in which hapless novices find themselves pressed into performing ever more hazardous tasks in order to prove their own self-worth. The recent serious injury of twenty 1st year undergraduates at the University of Portsmouth’s Abseiling Society initiations is only the most recent in a litany of peer pressure fuelled crimes.

Amidst this carnage, one light shines bright. The University of Bristol Zen Society has dispensed with the rituals of abuse and humiliation seen in many a university society, encouraging newcomers to wield insight and self-control, instead of a litre of K Cider in one hand, and a parsnip in the other.

Our correspondents caught up with the society during its first social of the academic year – an intense atmosphere of civility and camaraderie prevailed. Head of the ZenSoc, Samantha Trigg, spoke of the effort to avoid “the hierarchical structures and received dogmas prevalent throughout the university society continuum.” Johnno, sipping his tea at a leisurely pace, seemed all too happy to agree: “It’s all very well necking 5 pints of Carling as Dan, Matt and Steven hurl abuse at you, but sometimes I think it’s important that the principles of respect, serenity and mindfulness prevail.”

While clearly a step in the right direction, it remains to be seen whether Zen Society’s compassionate approach catches on.


‘That’ll do’, smiles first year, agreeing to live with tuna-girl, accordionist and Boglinol the Bloodthirsty

With the academic year well and truly underway, and first years in the process of sorting second year housing, one student, named James Foster, is reportedly delighted at having already secured a student let for the next academic year.

James has today stopped by his letting agents to sign for a student house, along with a girl who seems to exclusively eat tuna, a Trinity College London certified ‘beginner’ level accordionist, and well-known BDOC (Big Demon On Campus), Boglinol the Bloodthirsty, summoned from the depths of Azgoth to bring chaos to the mortal realm.

Seemingly unaware of how this decision could possibly come back to haunt him, James spoke to The Whip about his delight at putting second year housing to bed.

“I’m over the moon if I’m being honest, I’m just so relieved to have sorted a place for second year. People have questioned why I’m living with a bloodthirsty demon summoned from the darkest depths of hell, but they just haven’t seen the real Boglinol. I’m sure that deep down, old Boggers is a real softy.”

When asked whether he was concerned about the hair-raising, blood-curdling, gut-wrenching noises he might have to endure, James did not seem worried; “Not at all, I am actually a big fan of accordion music, and besides, it’ll help cover up the screams of Boglinol’s victims as he tears off their limbs.”


Woke Formula 1 commentator fired after claiming not to see race

After an astonishing U-turn by the Formula 1 Board, newly appointed commentator Edmund Hargraves-Smythe was appalled to find himself out of a job, after telling his bosses that he “just didn’t see race”.

The former employee in question found time between wails of angry tears to speak to The Whip about the showdown that unfolded between him and his boss.

“You wouldn’t believe the structural inequality you find in this industry”, Edmund complained, “ESPECIALLY at the top level.”

“After extensively educating myself about personal pronouns, gender biases and racial oppression, I just thought that my boss needed a bit of a wake-up call.”

“By explaining that the only race I see is the human race, I thought I could convert them from bloodthirsty tyrants to morally responsible citizens like me, then just like that, I’m out the door! I’ve already organised a one-man strike.”

However, after discussing the incident with Edmund’s boss, doubts were raised over whether Edmund’s story had traction.

“Oh, sweet Jesus…I knew as soon as he walked through the door I was going to need a strong whisky afterwards. When he whipped out the “I don’t see race” line, I had all I needed to sack his sorry arse. It’s Formula 1, what the hell does he think he’s there for?”

“I’m not going to take lectures from a privately educated middle class wanker about how I need to do more to dismantle structural inequality. Now if you’ll kindly excuse me, I’m off to raze a village for our new track…”

While clearly a case of misunderstanding, there has been no word yet as to Edmund’s future career plans, but it’s clear that being woke and working in motor racing are seemingly incompatible.


Stoke Bishop quarantined as Freshers’ Flu mutates into Freshers’ Plague

Although the annual onset of ‘Freshers’ Flu’ is no special occurrence, The Whip has learned that this year, the decision has been made to quarantine the North Residential Village, following a sudden mutation of the illness into ‘Freshers’ Plague’.

Far more than a sore throat and sneezing brought on by alcohol abuse and living in close quarters, Freshers’ Plague has brought Stoke Bishop to its knees.

While the quarantine cuts off all external access to Stoke Bishop, the university has allowed essential emergency supplies of medicine, sterile bandages and Amber Leaf to be delivered via the U1 bus. The deliveries are to last until the epidemic is quelled and quarantine lifted, or until the university feels it would rather spend the money on a new library, whichever comes first.

The Whip spoke to one Hiatt Baker resident who has been living with the new mutated Freshers’ Plague, who told us, “I always knew that freshers’ flu was a natural part of living in halls so when I got it, I didn’t think much of it at first. It was only when I got gangrene and started coughing up blood that I thought something needed to be done, so it was a good job I had some Lemsips in.”

Despite the quarantine, the rest of the university remains open, so instead of worrying about that guy sat next to you in your lecture who never covers his mouth when he sneezes, you can now worry about him not covering his buboes when they burst. As for Stoke Bishop, it remains to be seen how this current crisis develops.