Exeter University Safer Sex Ball: Investigation into CCTV as footage of couple 'having sex' spreads across campus

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  • Students' Guild looking into the leak after the video was shared online
  • It was recorded from CCTV on a smart phone and shared among students
  • Girl and boy shown in steamy clinch at a table in the Ram Bar

By Emma Reynolds

PUBLISHED: 08:25 EST, 15 January 2013 | UPDATED: 12:46 EST, 15 January 2013

CCTV footage showing two students in a steamy clinch at a university ball promoting safe sex has been leaked online.

The video was recorded in the University of Exeter's Ram bar at the annual event, at which most students wear only sexy underwear, and quickly spread across campus like wildfire.

The incident was today being investigated by the Students' Guild after the four-minute CCTV clip of a male and female student frolicking at a table was apparently recorded on a smart phone and posted online.

Embarrassing: The University was also recently forced to closed down its Exeter Uni Confessions site where students submitted their most 'disgusting and hilarious confessions'

Embarrassing: The University was also recently forced to closed down its Exeter Uni Confessions site where students submitted their most 'disgusting and hilarious confessions'

Graphic: The four-minute, steamy video clip has been circulated among students and online

Graphic: The four-minute, steamy video clip has been circulated among students and online

The pair are seen fondling each other at a table before the romp in ‘the video everyone is talking about’ at the university.

Police say those involved in the incident may have committed an offence, along with those who leaked the footage online.

One male student said he was concerned ‘people can go into the monitor rooms and put footage of us all at university on the internet’.

Hundreds of students went to the Safer Sex Ball in December, where they were handed free contraceptives.

The Safer Sex charity Aids Awareness Ball has been running for more than 20 years, raising up to £30,000 each time for charity, and pop star Will Young was on the organising committee when he was a student at Exeter.

A Guild spokesman said: 'The Students’ Guild recognise that confidential CCTV has been filmed without permission. The Guild is making sure the affected parties will be supported during this difficult time.

'Measures were in place to provide high levels of security but we are aware that irresponsible behaviour has taken place and we are working hard to rectify the situation.

'A full investigation is underw ay in which action proportionate to the seriousness of the situation will be taken.'

The University was also recently forced to closed down its Exeter Uni Confessions site where students submitted their most 'disgusting and hilarious confessions'.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was not investigating the sex tape because there has been no official complaint.

A spokesman said: 'If it was reported to us, we would investigate, but it looks like the university is dealing with it internally.'

Provocative look: Students dress up - or down - for December's Safer Sex Ball at Exeter University (NOTE: None of the students pictured were involved in the leaked video)

Provocative look: Students dress up - or down - for December's Safer Sex Ball at Exeter University (NOTE: None of the students pictured were involved in the leaked video)

Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe today blasted the University of Exeter for allowing the ball.

She said: 'It seems to me to be the height of irresponsibility to have a lot of people running around in their underwear talking and thinking about sex.

'Is this really the image of Exeter University that the authorities want to portray? Will it make people proud of Exeter?'

One 20-year-old student, who did not want to be named, added: 'The whole ball is disgusting anyway.'

'They pretend it's about safe sex and AIDS to give them an excuse to wear nothing and get off with each other.

'I'm sure having sex in the corner goes on quite a lot at that do but this time they forgot to check the room for CCTV.'

Organisers came under fire before the ball for choosing a tribal theme - dubbed racist by some students.

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said: 'Putting CCTV footage on the Internet without permission could contravene the law. That would namely be data protection laws and human rights legislation - the right to privacy.

'Engaging in sexual activity in a public place could also constitute an offence, depending on the form of sexual activity. But we would have to see the footage in question to officially comment on the incident itself.'

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said parents would be 'appalled' by the actions of the romping students.

Extreme: The charity ball - for which former student Will Young was once on the organising committee - has been slammed as 'irresponsible' and 'decadent'

Extreme: The charity ball - for which former student Will Young was once on the organising committee - has been slammed as 'irresponsible' and 'decadent'

Mr McGovern said: 'It's regrettable when a university has to go along this particular path in the name of promoting safer sex.

'This is rather decadent and more reminiscent of something out of the decay of the Roman Empire.

'We're in favour of safe sex but this is not the way to go. They should be focusing on their learning for heaven's sake.

'I would have thought it would only discredit the university and I think many parents whose children are at this university will be appalled.'

Kitty Howie, writing in the University’s magazine Exepose, said: 'Absolutely no consideration was given to the students in the video or the reputation of the university. It’s unfortunate that the Guild are once again having to face the backlash of something related to the Safer Sex Ball.

'CCTV and the footage that it inevitably produces in its role as a safety aid have been recklessly used to cause controversy and harm, rather than protect those caught in the camera’s gaze.

'It numbs my brain to think that there was even the slim possibility that the footage could have appeared online in the first place. How it was possible that a small minority of ill advised individuals was able to create such a damaging illusion, which consequently threatened the students involved in the video and the university itself, deeply distresses me. A full investigation is underway.'

In 2006, the university banned initiation ceremonies after fresher Gavin Britton drank himself to death in an alcohol game based on golf.

Gavin, 18, downed beer, cider, whisky, vodka and alcopops in the pub crawl with 16 fellow students.

He wore fancy dress and had to knock back drinks in a 'par' number of gulps just six weeks into his course at the university.

Gavin, of Barton-on-Sea, Hants, visited 13 pubs and clubs in three hours, downing drinks in each.

The student, who dressed up in a Borat-style black wig, was found dead the next morning after he choked to death on his own vomit.

Speaking later, his parents Ian and Susan said: 'We hope lessons can be learned from our tragedy.'

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