Sheffield Students’ Union’s Foundry Bar will have to tighten its security practices, after the death of a 22-year- old student. This includes the introduction of sniffer dogs an ID scanners.

Joana Burns, who had just completed a mathematics degree at Sheffield Hallam University, took the drug MDMA at the Tuesday Club at The Foundry in the Sheffield Students’ Union. She died later that night.

The University said: “The University of Sheffield and its Students’ Union are deeply saddened by the tragic death of a young Sheffield Hallam University student. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this very difficult time. Keeping students safe and well is our first priority and the Sheffield Students' Union has advanced security provision, policies and safety plans in place that are regularly reviewed. The licence review hearing concluded with Cllr David Barker outlining how Sheffield Students’ Union is a ‘beacon of good practice’ for safety – operating at a standard to which other venues in Sheffield should aspire.”

The order came from members of the Sheffield Council’s licensing committee, who also agreed that the bar could keep its licence while imposing 11 additional conditions to prevent drugs being brought into the bar and sold. These include sniffer dogs and ID scanners upon entry.

Megan McGrath is the new Development Officer for Sheffield Students’ union, whose role encompasses all the Student Union’s club nights. McGrath said: “As a Students' Union, we are committed to ensuring the safety of all our students and our events' attendees. We are working closely with both the council and Police on the outcomes of the license review.”

According to The Star, witness statements from Joana’s friends, who are unnamed, were used in a report that was given to the licensing sub-committee. A witness, who did not take the drug, warned the group that the MDMA smelt like hydrochloric acid.

The University also said: “On the wider issue of drug and alcohol misuse by young people, the University of Sheffield and its Students’ Union is leading a campaign to proactively share safety messages, and we understand how important it is to highlight these concerns. We will continue to work with Sheffield Hallam University, South Yorkshire Police and other partners locally and nationally to share these messages with our own students and young people who visit us.”


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