Students excluded for 'sadistic' flat initiation

The party appears to be well and truly over for a group of students who have been excluded from the University of Otago for their involvement in a "sadistic'' flat initiation party last year.

Hundreds of students gathered in the backyard of a flat near the corner of Cumberland and Dundas Sts in September, and cheered on as people with their heads shaved, stripped down to their underwear and sculled drinks until they vomited.

It was reported a student urinated on another student's face during the initiation.

A University of Otago spokeswoman said the students involved in the initiations were spoken to and "a number'' had been excluded for breaching the Student Code of Conduct.

It was not known how long the exclusion would last, she said.

"Some students may appeal the decisions. No further comment can be made until the appeals process is complete.''

Proctor Dave Scott said the university was not opposed to students having fun, but was concerned some ill-conceived and poorly thought through events like flat initiations, may pose significant risk of serious harm to participants, both mentally and physically.

"For this reason, the university will do everything in its power to keep students safe, while providing them with a world class education.''

He said work to address the issue began in 2017 and would continue this year.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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