'Groping, catcalling and sexual harassment rampant in Oz colleges'

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 17, 2012 10:30 hrs

A former student at Wesley College in Australia has said that the stubby holders were among a litany of sexual harassment incidents she faced, including being groped, catcalled and made the subject of lewd graffiti.

The former Wesley College student, who did not want to be identified, said many students, including women, were willing participants in the ribald culture of drinking and sexually aggressive behaviour when she was there in 2009 and 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald reports

According to the paper, on her first night at the college, she was made to stand before the student body and kiss a senior student "because it's his birthday". She was also asked to "show us your c---" when walking from the shower to her room.

Later that year, she was asked to be a "beer wench" in a beer skolling race against St John's. During the race, a member of the St John's team grabbed her breasts and placed his face between them as the crowd cheered, the paper said.

The following year, when she formed a relationship with another student, his room was defaced with graffiti that said, "I was rooted here", and he was asked to discuss the sexual nature of their relationship at the annual general meeting, the paper added.

"During each of these instances I felt harassed. Nobody I spoke to immediately after these events seemed to think their behaviour was wrong or I had been mistreated," she said.

The woman said she made several complaints to the university and college before action was taken in August last year. As a result the University of Sydney vice-chancellor, Michael Spence, has now called on the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, to urgently review the governance arrangements for the colleges, allowing greater intervention into their affairs, the paper concluded. (ANI)

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