Culture

UNSW Student Bodies Are Condemning College Students Caught “Glorifying Acts Of Rape” On Film

"UNSW is appalled by the sexist and demeaning attitudes and behaviours towards women outlined in these allegations."

Student bodies at the University of New South Wales have condemned an incident involving students at the university’s Philip Baxter College, which they allege was “incredibly degrading and objectifying of women and glorif[ied] acts of rape”. The incident, which was filmed on a mobile phone by two Baxter students, allegedly took place on the night of Friday, April 8, at a ‘Boy’s Night Out’ organised by students at the college as they were travelling on a bus on their way to a nightclub.

In the footage, students can be heard chanting the lyrics to a song containing misogynistic and violent lyrics:

“I wish that all the ladies/Were little red foxes/And if I were a hunter/I’d shoot them in their boxes
I wish that all the ladies/Were buns in the oven/And if I were a baker/I’d cream them by the dozen
I wish that all the ladies/Were holes in the road/And if I was a dump truck/I’d fill them with my load.”

The UNSW Student Representative Council and the SRC Women’s Collective released a statement regarding the footage last night, calling the behaviour of the students “deplorable” and saying “that this type of behaviour speaks to persisting attitudes within universities and society at large, which perpetuate a culture that is degrading to women and normalise acts of sexual assault and gendered violence.” A snap protest has been organised at the UNSW Library Lawn for midday today.

In a press release, a UNSW media representative said: “UNSW is appalled by the sexist and demeaning attitudes and behaviours towards women outlined in these allegations and is taking immediate steps to investigate. Meetings were convened last night between the University, college residents and student representatives. UNSW has zero tolerance for offensive behaviour of this nature.”

Numerous Australian university colleges have been criticised for their attitudes toward women in the past. In 2012, 33 students at the University of Sydney’s St John’s College were suspended after a first-year female student was hospitalised following an O-Week initiation ritual. The female student was allegedly pressured into drinking an alcoholic cocktail containing dog food and shampoo, causing severe internal bleeding. Subsequent investigations revealed a culture of degradation, violence, misogyny and “anarchy” at the college, including widespread sexual harassment, property damage and homophobic, sexist and racist conduct.

In 2009, a “pro-rape” Facebook page run by students at the nearby St Paul’s college prompted widespread outrage and an apology from college warden Dr Ivan Head. Further investigations saw female college students describe a culture of rape, sexual assault and cover-ups at the college.

Baxter College has been contacted for comment.

Feature image via UNSW/Flickr.

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