Culture

Sydney Uni’s Only All Male College Is Refusing To Co-Operate With A Review Into College Culture

The review was triggered amidst ongoing concerns about sexual assault on campus.

The oldest student college at the University of Sydney is refusing to take part in a campus-wide investigation into college culture. According to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, the all male St. Paul’s College will not participate in the cultural review, which is being led by former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick. Instead, the college will run its own internal investigation, the findings of which will not be made public.

The review into college culture was instigated in May after it was revealed that students at Wesley and St Andrew’s colleges were slut-shaming female students, and comes amidst ongoing concern about the rates of harassment and sexual assault on university campuses around the country.

A Look Inside The Rampant Culture Of Sexism And Assault At Australian Universities

St. Paul’s warden Dr. Ivan Head said that the college had “exercised its liberty as a self-governing body” to conduct its own review. “The College Council notes that cultural review and cultural excellence are good ideas,” he told the SMH, adding that the college had chosen to “pursue the same outcomes in its own way.”

As they are technically independent from the university, colleges cannot be compelled to take part in the review, however St. Paul’s appears to be the only college refusing to comply.

Sydney Uni lecturer Dr. Chris Neff tweeted his disapproval of St. Paul’s decision, saying that it was “beneath” the university.

Students at St. Paul’s found themselves at the centre of controversy in 2009 for setting up a “pro-rape” Facebook page. It is the only all male college at the University of Sydney, and its students dine together each night in full academic regalia. So yeah, I can’t imagine why a place like that might need to think about overhauling its culture.