Drunken initiation labelled ‘sadistic’

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 colleges 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.

timothy.brown@odt.co.nz

Comments

I think these sort of acts indicate psychiatric help is needed rather than punishment.

Disgusting = arousing revulsion or strong indignation'. That is how most civilised people would feel about this behaviour. It is out of control because these children are on mind altering drugs and alcohol. It's no good having regrets when sober- the damage is done. This is unsophisticated & dangerous and nothing to do with Dunedin- more to do with parents. Children need training and supervision.

Like sports teams. Not justifying any followers of the Marquis de Sade, but this is a structural problem of NZ culture. Rites. Men must have their rites. Nothing to do with Dunedin, it only happened here. As did the notorious 'hazing' at Knox College back in the day.

 

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