YUSU clashes with organisers of barcrawl

YUSU have spoken out against the organisers of the Carnage barcrawl and have discouraged University of York students from taking part in the event

YUSU have criticised the organisers of the ‘Carnage’ barcrawl, claiming it is “disrespectful” and unethical and have discouraged University of York students from taking part in the event.

YUSU President Anne-Marie Canning said of the 1,000 person barcrawl: “It’s a welfare issue, it’s a bad way to treat students, and it’s disrespectful to students and the local community.”

Sam Bayley, YUSU Societies and Communications Officer, also attacked the event, claiming that it represented poor value for money and used unethical trading sources. “Their barcrawl seems to be a rip-off. Its £8 for a ticket – we were told today by one of their reps that they pay 20p or 30p a t-shirt because they get them made in Egypt. They aren’t ethical in any way shape or form. They don’t pay anything to the bars because they bars are free to get into anyway and then they end up in Ziggy’s,” he said.

When asked about the working conditions the event’s t-shirts were created in, a student representative working for Carnage said: “Do you think I care about third-world kids? You should see my overdraft.”

The Students’ Union have already clashed with Carnage organisers over the advertising of the event. Earlier this week, Sabbatical Officers prohibited Carnage representatives from advertising on campus or distributing flyers.

The company have ignored this ruling. Canning alleged that a Carnage representative, after being told to stop advertising on campus, retorted: “Do you want to get into a fight? Let’s do it then.”

YUSU Service and Finance Officer Matt Burton claimed that company’s tactics of getting students to enter halls in order to advertise the event represented “a real security issue”.

When contacted by Nouse, Carnage’s national representative declined to comment, or to provide his name. He also threatened this newspaper and YUSU with legal action should articles about the event be published.

Union Officers are believed to be seeking legal advice from the National Union of Students’ advisors.

Burton, who organised the recent YUSU Viking Raid, said: “They are massively overselling the capacity by the club by about double. They have 1000 people trying to get into Ziggy’s which has a capacity of 600.” Burton’s event is in direct competition with Carnage.

YUSU Academic and Welfare Officer Grace Fletcher-Hall alleged that Carnage were breaking University regulations by commissioning students to sell t-shirts on campus. She said: “It is against university regulations to use student accommodation for commercial purposes.” Carnage, which recruits over Facebook, pay students a £1 commission for every t-shirt sold.

Concerns were also raised that the reputation of the student union would be damaged by the event. Burton said: “I don’t think local residents will make a distinction between this barcrawl which is not run by the students union and Viking Raid which is. If the barcrawl is made up of mainly students the backlash is going to be at the University and at the Students’ Union, not at the company.”

The event, which has a ‘Dirty Pornstar Theme’, will run tonight through four York bars and end in Ziggy’s Nightclub.

These events come in the aftermath of the death of Gethin Bevan, a University of Bath student who was found hanged in the early hours of Friday after participating in the Carnage event in the area. Police are not treating the death as suspicious.


  1. 3 Nov ’07 at 7:49 am

    Brendan Donoghue

    This group sounds like the smartest group of students I have ever heard of.

    Maybe SU should be talking to them a bit more about how to run their finances?

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  2. I’ve worked for Carnage for years in Liverpool and was told about this article by a friend of mine at york. It sounds like a load of rubbish to me – Carnage work really hard to look after all their students on the crawl & staff too – loads of stewards, paramedics there (even tho they are never needed), they pay me on time and i’m very happy with what they pay. CARNAGE FOREVER!!!!

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  3. ….and i hear Carnage offered the SU £3 per t-shirt sold…….twice what they declare they earn from Viking Raid!!! that doesn’t sound very fare to the students of York!!
    …..bet this post doesn;t stay up for long – i hear the SU is like a dictatorship.

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  4. 6 Nov ’07 at 5:19 pm

    Sarah Collins

    I worked for Carnage in York and i’m not allowed to say how much they paid me but it was much better than £1/shirt and will defo work again for them! i agree with the other comments – the SU is a Dictatorship – who are they to tell where to go and what to do????????? x

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  5. i was right!!! – my comment has been deleted!! is this the SU censoring free speach?????

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  6. 8 Nov ’07 at 4:08 pm

    Emannuel Panther

    I’ve worked for carnage for years in Rio de Janeiro and have so far only been paid in sawdust and hamster-feed. The SU seem to me to be freedom-fighters or knights of the realm. Carnage are yet to return to me my children or my shoes.

    This is not Rich Croker.

    Honestly, it’s not.

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  7. The SU are like a dictatorship? What gives you that impression? We didn’t stop students doing anything, just made sure that a company we felt weren’t acting in the interests of our students weren’t allowed access to accomodation blocks and publicised our opinions on the event.

    We were offered a significant amount more than we earn per t-shirt on Viking Raid – but we run events for students, not to make an obscene profit. Also, we have policy passed by a UGM meaning that we have to use ethically sourced merchandise.

    For the record, YUSU haven’t requested the removal of any of these posts; you may have been subject to an (independant) editorial decision.

    If you have any questions about this or our policies, please contact me on [email protected].

    Sam Bayley (YUSU Societies & Communications Officer)

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  8. 9 Nov ’07 at 3:35 pm

    Adrian Bolton



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  9. 9 Nov ’07 at 3:42 pm

    Adrian Bolton


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  10. Because Carnage doesn’t sell out in York and Viking Raid sells over 1600 tickets? And it’s cheaper, run across more (better) bars and you get drinks offers and free entry to a club that usually charges on the door? And we provide transport?

    Star World aren’t on the People and Planet ethical merchandise list so currently we are mandated not to use them.

    Hope that answers your question.

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  11. By the way Adrian, according to the database, you’re not a University of York student, so when you talk about making more money for “our SU” do you actually mean making money for Carnage?

    YUSU aren’t all about making money, we’re a charity run for students, not a for-profit company.

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  12. One of the major issues with students working for Carnage, Sarah, and the reason that the SU have the responsibility to tell students not to work for them, is that according to their housing contract no student is allowed to work out of their room. Carnage was encouragin students to break that part of their contract – the University knew about it, and if they had caught students using their accommodation for commercial purposes would have had to take steps. It would have been entirely irresponsible of the Union to do anything other than discourage students from working for the firm.

    (incidentally, I might be being overly paranoid here – but does it strike anyone else as suspicious that ‘sarah’s’ post occurrs in the t minutes between ‘John’s’ posts?)

    There is also, of course, the issue of security if representatives of an external company are attempting to gain access to student flats, and no company would be allowed to behave in this manner.

    On top of this is there are the numerous safety and planning deficencies, the plethora of complaints the event has attracted in other areas, and the fact that the whole thing is ludicrously overpriced. Unlike the Viking Raid (all proceeds from which go to the Union and help fund student activities) this event is run for the benefit of the people ruuning it, not for the students taking part. It is perhaps symptomatic of this that the people speaking here in favour of Carnage are the people who profit from it, not those who have payed the £8 and had a shit night.

    As for the T-shirts being ethically sourced, I don’t have time to examine this claim in any depth. If what you’re saying is true, and they do use Starworld, then it looks unlikely. The company operates its own factories, isn’t subject to external audits or scrutiny, doesn’t appear to have trade unions, and doesn’t have an in depth employment policy – in other words, we have to take their word for it that the standards are ‘ethical’, which is particularly concerning as they don’t even try to define what they mean by ethical (Fruit of the Loom, Nike, Reebok and all the other usual suspects all have public statements claiming that they have ethical employment practises).

    Starworld’s statement sounds convincing, until you actually read it: they try to imply that the fact that their clothing meets Oeko-Tex 100 regulations somehow makes it ethical. These regulations merely assure the customer that there are no harmful chemicals on the T-shirt, and that wearing it won’t harm them, they have nothing to do with labour practises.

    In short: not ethical, not well-organised, not in the interest of students, not value for money, and as a result not well-attentended by York Students..

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  13. Sarah and John’s post come from the same ip address.
    It’s amazing what you can do with the internet nowadays.

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  14. Sam Bayley, you clearly couldn’t run a bath let alone a student union, carnage is the only student company/event that i’ve been on that actually takes time to look after students with ample staff, unecessary medic teams and a pro-active relationship with the polic, if you’d like to cross reference with police they are very pro our event.

    How about you spend more time actually doing your job and working for the SU rather than getting into a petty argument that is clearly pointless.

    It screams sour grapes at me, is it because they run a better, well publicised and ultimately better evnt than the SU’s??? Don’t get me wrong is very honourable what you do for the university but i’m sure it helps pays for you wage somehow.

    The original article is full of slander and miss quotation which is actually illegal which i hope you know, maybe if the union worked in cohesion with events like these then the students at York would get the oppourtunities and facilities they deserve not some egotistical set of bigwigs who are holding back the development of a university through sheer ignorance and malice.

    As with many posts because i’m not complimenting you, your probably delete this post but that just sums up the backward dictatorship that your trying to run. Good luck to you in your job, your clearly need it, and hopefully one day your listen to the students your suppose to represent and not your faltering reputations.

    my respect to your comments (not sarcasm intented honest)


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  15. Dear Ryan,

    Thank you for your comments. If you are a student at the University of York and you have an issue with how I do my job, I suggest you email or call me about it to arrange a meeting. If you’re not a student here, I consider your views wholly irrelevant.

    I am one of the officers who runs a very successful Students’ Union; and I help run events like Viking Raid which are better attended than Carnage. To be honest, there wasn’t a single poster on campus about the last Viking Raid, and there was no direct selling; yet it sold out easily, at 1600 tickets. I don’t think, therefore we need worry about how well publicised or good our event is (though we always look for ways to improve it).

    We did ask the police about your event and they seemed rather concerned that they didn’t know about it. We also spoke to the Environmental Health Department and Licensing Authority, for your information.

    I don’t know who Miss Quotation is, but I’d like to meet her and hear her thoughts. We have ensured that the article above conforms to our Media Charter and does not contain any libellous information. I’m not entirely sure how it contains slander as it’s in a permanent (written down) format.

    I don’t have any real power to delete Nouse posts, and I don’t think the editors will do so either.

    Thanks again for your offer to work with Carnage. Again, we’ll turn you down; whilst your £2-3 profit margin per ticket sold is a tempting offer, I think that a) we’d rather provide better value for money for students and b) we’d rather run a sold-out, 1600 strong event and take a smaller margin on each, ultimately meaning that everyone wins.

    If your job is PR representative for Carnage, good luck with that too.

    Have a good weekend.


    P.S. As it’s now after the time I’m at work I feel there’s no problem for me to respond to your “petty” argument. Best of both worlds.

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  16. To Ryan K, the most intellectually stimulating part of your comment was wondering what the K stands for in your name.

    Out of curiosity do you know how much profit Carnage made from their event in York? Given your assertions that it was a better event and it was more expensive, surely Carnage had more customers and made a bigger profit?

    I’m still confused as to why anyone would pay £8 for a cheap T-shirt and entry to bars which are free anyway. If you believe it’s acceptable to persuade students to pay an extortionate price for a T-shirt then the “Looking after it’s students” claim has to be open to debate.

    Also, for reference: Misquotation is one word, although misquote is usually used instead. “Miss Quote” is not a word, it’s (she’s) a person. And if you do not like something someone is saying/writing that does not make it slanderous or illegal.

    I do not work for the Student Union either in a paid job or as a volunteer. I’m just a regular student who’s pissed off at a money-grabbing organisation trying to rip off students who are under enough financial pressure as it is.

    Did I miss anything?

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