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Safe sex ball should go on, say Exeter organisers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 16, 2013

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Organisers of a banned "safer sex"-themed student ball have promised to fight for its reinstatement.

The University of Exeter confirmed on Tuesday its infamous Safer Sex Ball (SSB) "will not be held in the future" after CCTV footage emerged on the internet of students apparently engaged in sexual activity.

Members of staff at the Students' Guild were sacked last month for filming and circulating the footage of the couple in the student bar at the event intended to promote safe sex.

Student organisers Raising and Giving (RAG) pledged to campaign against the permanent cancellation of the ball, which has been running for more than two decades and is one of the country's biggest Aids-awareness events.

The group criticised guild proposals for a replacement event as "naïve" and "not in the best interests of the students".

It said any change of format "would undoubtedly" damage its success and the benefits to charity.

"The unique selling point has been vital to the event's popularity," it said.

RAG claimed charities such as the Eddystone Trust were in danger of losing out on annual donations of up to £20,000 from the event for HIV and sexual health services.

It warned that cancelling the SSB left the door open for rival promoters to hold an event without charitable aims.

RAG said in a statement: "We will look to run an SSB next academic year. We hope that the Students' Guild will recognise the popularity of the SSB with the students and its inherent charitable mission.

"However, if this will not be the case then we will seek alternate means of funding and running the event."

The guild said the event could "no longer exist" due to "negative reputational damage" and effects on student welfare.

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