Strath Union building to be closed tonight in support of anti-spiking campaign

Accompanying photo taken at Strath Union, 51 Richmond Street: Left- Nesha Malone, Strath Union Vice President Inclusion, Right- Savvina Kritharidou, Strath Union Vice President Education From left to right: Nesha Malone, Strath Union Vice President Inclusion, and Savvina Kritharidou, Strath Union Vice President Education [Image Credit: Strath Union]

By Daniella Theis 

Strath Union is closing its doors tonight in support of anti-spiking ‘Big Night In Glasgow’ campaign. 

The building and all its commercial venues will be closed from 7pm tonight to make a statement of solidarity with the Big Night In Glasgow campaign which is urging people to boycott clubs and stay at home tonight.

The nationwide campaign was implemented and received widespread support after there was an increased number of spiking incidents – some of which have been reported to have happened through injection – reported across Glasgow and other parts of the UK. 

“We want everyone to be safe in all Glasgow bars and clubs so that they can enjoy a night out without fear of attack,” Nesha Malone, Strath Union Vice President Inclusion, said.

She added: “As a student bar in Glasgow, we are 100% focused on student safety. We are now looking at further measures that can increase safety and we believe other bars should do the same.”

The Big Night In campaign is boycotting clubs for one night to demand – among other things- increased treatment and prevention policies from the government that match the severity of issues, greater repercussions for perpetrators of spiking and/or sexual violence, greater staff training in clubs and bars, and more obvious directions on how to get help in clubs. 

In an Instagram post, organisers of the Big Night In Glasgow said: “This is not a stay at home message. This is asking our students to protest against the clubs and bars. They are not responding to our complaints, so we must make them.”

The Big Night In campaign is also trying to educate its followers and supporters on language and the effects of victim blaming – the practice of questioning as to what a victim of a crime could have done differently – affects survivors of these crimes.

“We encourage safe behaviour and looking out for each other, however, we cannot emphasise enough that we want to see firmer preventative measures to send a clear message to perpetrators of the crimes, to let them know they will be severely dealt with,” Malone said. 

“We are also sending a strong message to clubs and bars that we expect to be looked after in their venues, we are happy to support them by providing our custom, they should be happy to support us in return by providing safety measures that actually work.” 

Strath Union’s Student Exec previously released an anti-spiking statement, which can be found on the Strath Union website:

Anyone seeking assistance or guidance after experiencing sexual assault of any kind is urged to contact Strath Union for assistance and signposting to services.

Other resources are:

Strathclyde Report & Support:

Rape Crisis Scotland

The Rosey Project

Women’s Aid

The Emily Test