Northampton University Head Criticised For Crowd-Surfing, Downing Drinks With Students

Students Defend Their University Head After He's Criticised For Partying Antics
Vice-chancellor Nick Petford participates in a dance-off on stage
Vice-chancellor Nick Petford participates in a dance-off on stage

Students have rallied to the defence of their university head after he faced criticism for downing drinks, crowd-surfing and participating in a dance-off with students at an awards bash.

The vice-chancellor of the University of Northampton Nick Petford was slammed for partying too hard at the university's sports awards.

The VC was dubbed a "#LAD" and nicknamed the 'Wolf of Northampton' after his antics mirrored those of Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the Wolf of Wall Street. The 'down with the kids' vice-chancellor and several other university staff were pictured downing drinks in what looks like a boat race, egged on by the comedian Lee Nelson, hired to host the sports awards.

The awards, which were held at the Saints Stadium in Northampton, featured a dance-off between Petford and Jane Bunce, director of student and academic services.

Petford approached the situation lightheartedly the morning after, tweeting that in fact students were mistaken and it was his twin brother the night before.

The Northampton branch of the University and College Union, which represents academic staff, has not taken his actions so lightly, issuing a statement condemning the crowd-surfing Vice-chancellor's actions:

"The University of Northampton claims to embrace equality and value the diversity of its student body, yet behaviour of this type by Senior Managers undermines the hard work that the majority of staff and students at the University put in to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. Some staff and students, especially those with particular religious or cultural beliefs or with direct experiences as victims, will be deeply offended by behaviour which promotes a laddish culture at the expense of Northampton’s reputation."

The University of Northampton and its Student Union both refused to comment on the allegations, but students have fought back on Twitter, condemning the statement issued by Northampton UCU.


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