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University of Exeter cancels safer-sex ball after CCTV romp embarrassment

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

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A long-running “safer sex”-themed student ball has been cancelled, a month after it was embroiled in controversy.

The University of Exeter has confirmed its Safer Sex Ball (SSB) “will not be held in the future”, after footage apparently showing two participants having sex on CCTV went viral four weeks ago.

The University of Exeter’s students’ guild launched an investigation to look into the incident after footage from the event, held just before Christmas and designed to promote safer sex, was circulated on the internet.

A guild spokesman yesterday said: “It is with regret that the SSB can no longer exist in its current format. In recent years, the negative reputational damage has overshadowed the outstanding work that the committee and RAG (student-run charitable organisations) do to generate charitable funds and student opportunities.

“Therefore the guild and RAG are working together to formulate a way in which these student opportunities and charitable funds remain, in an interesting way for the University of Exeter student body.”

The ball had long been a staple of the students’ fundraising calendar. But it has also courted unwanted attention for its risqué antics. The news was broken on Tuesday in the university’s independent student paper, Exepose.

Those opposing the decision have taken to social media to express their displeasure that the fundraiser – in its current form – has run its course.

Eve Bishop, writing on Twitter, said: “Safer sex ball has been cancelled! I wanted to go next year what a joke.”

Oli Loughran added: “Big shame it has come to this – finally cracked.”

The University of Exeter is considered one of the UK’s leading institutions, and recently accepted an invitation to join the prestigious Russell Group representing the country’s foremost research-intensive universities.

It has also been named in the top 10 of several recent “good university” guides.

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