Police should be brought in to stamp out ongoing bad
behaviour at St John's College at the University of Sydney, a
former fellow of the college says.
Professor Roslyn Arnold has called for greater scrutiny after
reports that loutish behaviour has continued at the
150-year-old college, despite an incident in March that saw a
female student hospitalised.
The college suspended 33 students in relation to that
incident, in which male residents surrounded a girl and
encouraged her to drink a toxic concoction as part of an
However, despite the reprimand, the college has descended
into anarchy, Fairfax reported, with widespread vandalism and
first-year students still being forced into initiation
rituals involving the consumption of toxic drinks.
Prof Arnold, who used to be one of the 18 fellows who
governed the college through its council, has called for
tough action to be taken.
"This behaviour has to be brought to the attention of the
authorities, and I mean the police," Prof Arnold told ABC
Television on Monday.
She said the traditions at the college, often enforced by
second year residents on freshers, had left many students
living in fear.
"They work to dehumanise people, they work to disempower
people, they work to frighten people, and they work very
Prof Arnold said if the authorities did not bring St John's
college to book, then parents should think twice about
sending their children to the institution.
"The only thing that will bring an institution to its knees
will be if it suffers financial damage."
The college is an independent body, meaning the university
has no authority over what occurs on campus.
Earlier on Monday, Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott - a
St John's old boy - said the reports of bad behaviour were
Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, another St John's alumnus, said
the reports were unacceptable, but added that the behaviour
of many university students would probably not meet "general