Drunken ini­ti­a­tion la­belled ‘sadis­tic’

Otago Daily Times - - Dunedin & General - TI­MOTHY BROWN

STU­DENTS may face ex­pul­sion af­ter Cam­pus Watch staff were called to a North Dunedin party where it ap­pears ‘‘sadis­tic’’ flat ini­ti­a­tion rit­u­als were tak­ing place, the Univer­sity of Otago’s proc­tor says.

Dave Scott said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way af­ter Cam­pus Watch staff at­tended the party in Cum­ber­land St on Thurs­day where a stu­dent was re­port­edly uri­nated on and cov­ered in vomit.

Videos and pic­tures from the event cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia app Snapchat and de­picted young peo­ple in their un­der­wear con­sum­ing al­co­hol un­til they vom­ited.

‘‘Cam­pus Watch at­tended, called noise con­trol, spoke to res­i­dents and did what they could to con­tain the sit­u­a­tion. How­ever, much of the offensive ac­tiv­ity had al­ready oc­curred prior to their ar­rival,’’ Mr Scott said.

He spoke to eight stu­dents from a flat in­volved in the in­ci­dent yes­ter­day morn­ing and stu­dents faced be­ing kicked out of univer­sity.

‘‘The mat­ter is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and all photos and video footage will be re­viewed by the univer­sity,’’ he said.

‘‘When stu­dents are found to be in se­ri­ous breach of the stu­dent code of con­duct, they do face ex­clu­sion. This is a dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity for . . . stu­dents in­volved in or­gan­is­ing th­ese types of ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘Th­ese types of sadis­tic and po­ten­tially harm­ful flat ini­ti­a­tions are not part of the tra­di­tion at the Univer­sity of Otago, and flat ini­ti­a­tions such as this have only started to be­come no­tice­able in the past few years.’’

Univer­sity staff had been work­ing with res­i­den­tial col­ leges and the Otago Univer­sity Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion to re­duce the preva­lence of such ini­ti­a­tion events.

‘‘This po­ten­tially harm­ful be­hav­iour as shown in the footage in­volv­ing large quan­ti­ties of al­co­hol is be­hav­iour that is re­jected by this univer­sity in the strong­est pos­si­ble terms,’’ he said.

‘‘The univer­sity is de­ter­mined to stamp out this be­hav­iour and to ed­u­cate stu­dents, as in­evitably, they will re­gret par­tak­ing in th­ese events.

‘‘We have to ques­tion the val­ues of a mi­nor­ity group of our stu­dents and how they have come to think this is OK.’’

The univer­sity had not re­ferred the mat­ter to po­lice, and a po­lice spokes­woman said it had not re­ceived any other com­plaints about the footage or the party.


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