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Christ Church students warned about nightclimbing

The Night Climbers called Christ Church "the easiest college to both climb and infiltrate"

Christ Church students have been issued with a safety warning after roof alarms were triggered by a night climbing incident. The Night Climbers of Oxford confirmed to Cherwell that two of their members scaled Christ Church last week, coinciding with the incident.

In an email circulated to Christ Church students, Professor Geraldine Johnson, the college’s junior censor, warned students to “make sure you don’t let anyone use your windows to access either the scaffolding or roof areas of the College.”

The climbers reportedly set off alarms on the scaffolding in Peckwater Quad, with students urged to prevent people from using windows to reach the college ramparts. The group boasted of how easily they could access the college’s heights.

They told Cherwell: “Christ Church is probably the easiest college to both climb and infiltrate, because there are just so many obscure entrances, especially around the Meadows.”

The night climbers have gained social media popularity with their posts on platforms such as OxFess.

However, the group have also expressed their political goals.

They said: “Night Climbing is a discipline which spans back here for many decades in Oxford.

“We first came to the attention of the public here in Oxford when we made several posts to anonymous online webpages.

“However, after reviewing these posts we saw them as quite arrogant. We felt it was best to apply our taste for political activism hand-in-hand with our climbs.

“Sometimes the best way to do that is to hang a massive banner right in front of your bedroom window.

“Most of our climbs are away from preying eyes and conducted in total secrecy.

“It’s only on a rare occasion that we decided to share something, and even then it’s to bring light to an important political issue.”

They added: “Getting in and out of college or town buildings isn’t as hard as it sounds. Where your average person might see a bog standard drain pipe, we view them as ladders. Where you see window ledges and door porches, we see make-shift hand holds. Walls aren’t viewed as obstacles, they’re viewed as entrances. What’s down becomes up, long becomes short, liquid becomes solid.”

Chloe Faulkner, a Christ Church student, told Cherwell: “My opinion is that the night climbers are just having a bit of fun. I love seeing their posts on Oxfess and it’s amazing seeing colleges from a completely different angle than we normally see them. As long as they’re being careful and not damaging anything I don’t see the problem.”

In a statement in response to the claims of the night climbers, Geraldine Johnson said: “We take the safety of students and staff at Christ Church very seriously.

“In light of recent incursions on temporary scaffolding and some roof areas of Christ Church, we have reviewed our security arrangements and, as appropriate, amended our
security measures.

“In particular, we have reminded our students via email of the dangers of accessing off-limit areas, especially at height.

“Ultimately, however, students are responsible for their own safety if they choose wilfully to trespass areas clearly marked as being off limits.”

People claiming to be the Night Climbers also posted a recent Oxfess with photographs that appeared to have been taken on the top of nearby college Corpus Christi.

The post read: “Dear Corpus Parkour Society, we invaded your home territory for a while, but we left you a present.”

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