Photo: Paul Ingles

The students behind the infamous Champagning video have offered a public apology, claiming that the stunt was “intended as a harmless joke”. The video, which has now been removed from YouTube, depicts several first years at various locations around town seemingly dousing themselves in champagne.

In a public statement, the students expressed their regret, saying: “We would like to sincerely apologise for the video that was posted on YouTube entitled ‘Champagning in St Andrews’.

“This was intended as a harmless joke and an attempt to join in on the latest craze that began with ‘milking’ in Newcastle and ‘porting’ in Durham, as well as being ironic towards ourselves.

“Those involved in the video were all first years who also wanted to celebrate the end of a successful first semester at University. We would like to apologise to any who were upset or offended by our video, we assure you this was not our intention and we regret any offence that may have been taken.

“In addition we are shocked, saddened and deeply regretful of the reaction towards this video, as well as being deeply remorseful towards any negative effects this may have had for our fellow students, especially those involved in trying to present a more balanced picture of the University of St Andrews and our student community.

“Once again we would like to offer our heartfelt apologies for any offence caused, we truly hope this will be the end of the matter and are allowed to continue to study and complete our exams in peace.”

In a blog published yesterday entitled “Bad jokes with bitter consequences”, Freddie Fforde, President of the Students’ Association, lamented the video, saying: “What a shame. What a shame. All of the work that we do, here at the association, over with the Ambassadors programme and just in the general day-to-day context of student society life.

“Given the efforts we’re putting in to turn around negative stereotypes about our poor record of diverse students, I’m quite upset at all of this so I won’t go on, not least at the media exacerbation.”

A University spokesman said: “It was an unfortunate incident which, although intended as a joke, cast our student community in a very harsh and unfair light in the way it was reported by national media.

“The students involved realised the offence their video could cause, removed it swiftly and offered an explanation and apology through the student President Freddie Fforde.

“It is fair to note that they have had to endure a difficult week, vilified in the press, their Facebook pages pored over by the media, their friends and families affected and, for a period, their residences staked out by the press.

“There is however something very positive that St Andrews can take from this – the confident way in which so many students have been quick to challenge media stereotyping and argue for a fairer portrayal based on the reality of a diverse, energetic and engaged community, most of which is committed to playing a central part in widening access, volunteering, and community relations.”

12 COMMENTS

  1. Of course it was a harmless joke. The people who were offended the most out of this whole incident just go to show how sensitive people are getting in general. There was clearly no bad intent toward the university. Sometimes people just read too deeply into things that are meant to be innocent jokes.

  2. Half a day’s wage? They spent maybe 8 quid each tops (Tesco’s own Cava is 4 quid, the most any of them used was two each), that is the price of a cinema ticket and maybe some popcorn. If people are going to get this bent out of shape, creating some false controversy where non exists just for the point of creating a feeling of class assault, over a simple video made by some students to be ironic and to have fun then they are not the sort who are even worth acknowledging.

  3. Just another case of the university focusing its resentment on something completely harmless. Take it easy Freddie, kids still want to go to this wonderful University, and nothing is going to stop them from feeling this way, least of all some video about wasteful champagne toting first-years. I say good luck to a student association and university that waste their breath on, quite possibly, the most timid manifestation of a culture of elitism that has, no doubt, persisted at this University for decades. If you want to seriously change things up, start enrolling African Americans en masse, no culture on earth hates elitism more!

  4. Political correctness is going madder! There is a thing called freedom of expression. I think it was a joke and should not have been blown out of proportion. I enjoyed watching the video, it was not claimed that it was official from any university body. Therefore there should be no fuzz made about it. Everyone is free to express their ideas and opinion as they wish, as long as it is not harming others.

  5. Sadly I have to agree with the tabloids on this one. You (students) don’t seem to understand the value of money at all. To any struggling to put basics on the table (and there are many) this really is shocking. Perhaps it should be made compulsory for all students to spend 8 weeks in the “real” world with a “real” budget before they can graduate. If there were any real understanding of the issues perhaps the students concerned would be volunteering to support local charities rather than bleating platitudes about their “regret”

    • I think Ralph’s comment makes it perfectly clear that students do understand the value of money; I’d certainly choose the cinema over making a silly video as a way to have fun, but that’s the individual’s choice. To suggest that student’s don’t have personal budgets to balance and that evidence of “having fun” means that they live a charmed existence is a totally unfounded claim.

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