St Andrews University Students Apologise Over 'Champagning' Stunt

Students at St Andrews' University have been shamed into apologising for dousing themselves in what appears to be champagne in order to flaunt their wealth.

The "champagning" stunt was intended to get a one-up on other students who had indulged in the "milking" craze, which sees people pouring milk over themselves and posting the pictures and videos online.

The St Andrews students have gone into hiding after their "champagning" stunt

Several first year students from the prestigious university filmed each other emptying bottles of alcohol on themselves in various public places. What was presumably meant as a harmless prank has now escalated into an argument over the elitism of St Andrews.

President of the students' association Freddie Fforde told BBC Scotland: "I am furious about this because of all the work students and I have done to encourage students from all backgrounds to apply here.

"This video has undermined our image and undoes a lot of good we have done.

"I have spoken to the students involved and they realise they have made a massive mistake. They are very embarrassed about it and have gone into hiding."

The video has since been removed from YouTube, with one "champagning" participant telling student paper The Stand: "We just did it to play up to university rivalry and because we thought it would be funny to put our own spin on the 'milking' craze.

"I had no idea people were going to be offended."

The students who made the video have since sent a message to Fforde. The apology, which was published in full in The Stand on Thursday, read:

"This was intended as a harmless joke and an attempt to join in on the latest craze that began with ‘milking’ in Newcastle and ‘porting’ in Durham, as well as being ironic towards ourselves... We would like to apologise to any who were upset or offended by our video, we assure you this was not our intention and we regret any offence that may have been taken.

"In addition we are shocked, saddened and deeply regretful of the reaction towards this video, as well as being deeply remorseful towards any negative effects this may have had for our fellow students, especially those involved in trying to present a more balanced picture of the University of St Andrews and our student community.

"Once again we would like to offer our heartfelt apologies for any offence caused, we truly hope this will be the end of the matter and are allowed to continue to study and complete our exams in peace."

St Andrews student journalist Melissa Steel has pleaded for the public not to "tar us all with the same brush".

In a blog for the Huffington Post UK, she says: "It seems unfair for the media to portray us all as over-privileged playboys and bimbettes; most of us have worked very hard to get here.

"Despite the negative attention that champagning has brought us, I can't help but feel that the prevailing response to it is one in a long line of overreactions to decisions made by St Andrews staff and students. At the end of the day, if somebody with more money than sense (I maintain anybody with an iota of intelligence just would have guzzled all the alcohol) wants to pour Moet over their head, then let them do it."

Comments on the YouTube video ranged from amused to irate, with one user writing: "How dare you attach the name of my university to this video.

"For anyone judging from the outside world, I please urge you to not jump to conclusions, this video represents an unfortunate minority mentality that exists in the town. For the most part St Andrews is a modern, metropolitan, forward thinking university - the antithesis of what this video represents."

Earlier this month, Durham students indulged themselves in a spot of port pouring, creatively nicknamed "porting", although it appears although "champagning" is just that step too far.