News Article

Statement regarding Varsity

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Last night, Sparrows Bar was closed early due to conditions that made keeping the bar open unsafe to our members and their guests. It was a tough decision; however we believe it was right one. The decision to close was not made lightly.

A group of attendees tried to enter the venue by queue jumping at the entrance, causing a disturbance; this escalated, and the doors to the venue were shut and the police were called. Upon their advice to ensure everyone’s safety, both inside and outside of the venue, the Varsity Afterparty was stopped and everyone was asked to leave the venue and site.

We’re upset, like you, that we had to take this action. I am disappointed that the behaviour of a small group of students ruined the evening for the majority that were already in Sparrows and for those in the queue, following what was an amazing day of sport and entertainment at Varsity. After the closure of Sparrows last night, there were reports of a number of fire alarms being set off in halls, disturbing residents throughout the night. These actions affected a significant number of Greenwich and Medway students – this is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.

There will be a full investigation by us and GK Unions to fully establish what happened and who was involved. If you witnessed anything last night or have anything to report, please email Lisa Connellan, our Head of Commercial and she will be in touch (

In regards to staffing levels of security at Sparrows, we go above legal numbers and best practice for licensed venues. Security guards and our management at Sparrows are trained to ensure that keeping our members and guests safe in our venues is our highest priority. The decision to call the police and subsequently shut the venue was to ensure everyone’s safety.

As I said, we’re very disappointed with what happened last night. We had an amazing day at Varsity, for which I’d like to thank Mark Heffernan and the team at GK Unions, Onyinye Nkemdirim and Becki McWhinnie from our Student Activities team, and the SU’s Commercial and Marketing teams for putting together. As with all of our events, we will be reflecting on the day to ensure that next year’s Varsity is bigger and better. Congratulations to Team Medway for being the winners overall, it was well deserved.


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