Concerns have been raised over NekNominations after dozens of York students have participated in the new trend.
The online drinking game, where participants film themselves downing a drink before nominating others to do the same on social media, has spread quickly since it was started in Australia in January, especially among student populations.
Elements of competition have been introduced, with many people trying to outdo their friends, either by drinking stronger alcoholic beverages, or by doing so in increasingly extreme circumstances.
One girl was recorded on the ‘Spotted: University of York Library’ Facebook page as downing a pint in her underwear, and a member of the Alcuin JCRC posted a video online of himself drinking a pint after pretending to sexually accost a friend dressed as the Alcuin owl.
When asked about his nomination, a second year PPE student explained: “I drank beer, gravy and urine all mixed up into one delicious cocktail. I did it as I think it’s a good laugh. Some people disagree with the idea as they think it’s dangerous. Personally I don’t see the problem as it’s up to them what they drink!”
However, the trend is causing concern among some groups, who feel it is encouraging peer pressure and drinking to excess. In Ireland, two young men died after participating in NekNominations. The craze claimed its first British victim on Saturday.
Ben Rothwell, a fourth year Physics student, is unimpressed by the trend, saying: “I only saw friends getting involved in NekNominations after I saw national news articles on it – which you could maybe argue is the media driving the trend.”
However, many students are also finding ways to subvert the game.
One first year English student “necked” a cup full of Angel Delight, while third year student George Hughes responded to his nomination by posting a video of himself drinking tea and reading the first chapter of The Hobbit.
Some are even trying to use the fad to encourage positive behaviour. At Durham University, many students are propagating a “donate nominate” scheme, where tagged friends have twenty-four hours to donate to a charity of their choice.
Closer to home, ‘Respect Nominates’ are beginning to appear. Lloyd Wallis, YUSU Union Chair, gave out free cakes in the Physics department for his, whilst Dan Whitmore, YUSU Academic Officer, bleached his hair to raise money for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) as part of RAG Week.