Hazing News

Australian human rights commission on hazing and sexual assault

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Excerpt from the Daily Mail

The Australian Human Right’s Commission survey, released Tuesday, details the sexual assault and harassment of students across the nation’s universities, with more than 1,849 personal submissions.

The survey also detailed a range of hazing challenges, such as where first year female students or ‘freshers’ were made to ‘run the gauntlet’ along a corridor of male residents.

The women were then made to ‘kneel before each male resident and drink from his sack’ – which was a bag of wine hidden in their trousers.

Another college reportedly held an annual ‘feral women’s night’ where female residents were force-fed alcohol, told to remove their tops and were subjected to derogatory comments and sexist chants.

The survey also revealed that women were four times as likely as men to have their most recent sexual assault or harassment incident occur at a residential college.

‘Although the survey did not distinguish between college and university social events, these events were the most common setting where students experienced sexual assault,’ the report stated.

While one astonishing claim said that ‘the administration knew about this and they condoned this.’

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said there was a worrying perception colleges were aware of the hazing and college traditions and had done little to prevent them.

‘The fact that these behaviours continue to exist in colleges and that they involve sexual assault and sexual harassment of students, who in some cases are in their first week or even their first day in college, is deeply concerning,’ she said.

Commissioned by Universities Australia, the survey was undertaken after allegations institutions were covering up claims from victims.

Results came from more than 30,000 students across 39 universities and showed that ‘women are almost twice as likely as men to be harassed, and more than three times as likely to be assaulted.’

In addition, 94 per cent of those harassed and 87 per cent of those assaulted had not make a formal complaint or report, with a large proponent knowing the perpetrator.

Ms Jenkins said the Commission heard numerous accounts of women being sexually assaulted by people they described as close friends who they trusted.

‘In submissions people described feeling anxious about being on campus because they were afraid of seeing the perpetrator.

In June, allegations of rampant sexism, misconduct and bullying at the elite St Paul’s College at the University of Sydney were uncovered by Daily Mail Australia.

Several women, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed the extent of the ‘slut shaming’ that emanated from the elite college.

One woman described the abuse as an ‘every day pervasive experience,’ where she would be ‘degraded’ for her sexuality.

According to claims, student’s would allegedly throw alcohol and drug-fuelled sex parties in the college’s Rogers Room.

Referred to as the ‘Bone Room,’ the floor of the area would be covered in mattresses.

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By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer, former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird, finished a stint as managing editor of the Celina Daily Standard to accept a new position as managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--

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