Here Are The Most Humiliating Hazing Rituals At Sydney Uni Named In Report

Earlier today, End Rape On Campus Australia published a blistering 200+ page report titled The Red Zone detailing the toxic culture at Australian university campuses.

Focusing largely on the University of Sydney‘s Colleges, it detailed 79 years worth of hazing rituals entrenched in misogyny and homophobia.

“We’ve been able to chart almost a century of abuse, hazing and vile conduct at these institutions,” said Nina Funnell, lead author of the report. “Today we are standing with all survivors of sexual assault and hazing from all colleges around the country, but especially the Sydney University colleges.”

Here are just some of the incidences detailed in the report.

  • A former college resident described a practise where male students would habitually masturbate into the container of shower products left in the bathroom by female residents.
  • Red-headed residents of St. John’s College would set their pubic hair on fire. Whoever lasted the longest would become the ‘Meniscus Master’, allowed to enforce rules around drinking cordial.
  • An incident where male students drunk the live goldfish that were part of the table decoration at a formal college dinner event.
  • An O-Week tradition at Wesley College known as ‘Bait Cruise‘, where a second or third year students of both genders invite a fresher student of the opposite gender to be their “bait” for the night.
  • St. Paul’s College hosting “bone-room parties” where only the most attractive fresher women from the Women’s College were invited. Women were expected to dress in a specific fancy dress and feel flattered to be invited to these parties. (The College has denied the existence of these parties.)
  • A traditional drinking competition called the ‘Bachelor of Inebriation‘, where students competed to consume 15 alcoholic drinks without going to the bathroom, leading to students peeing themselves.
  • A tradition at St. John’s called ‘Green Goblin‘, where returning male ‘Goblins would pick a fresher ‘Goblin’ to paint in green paint and take on a drinking bender. In 2017, the Goblins returned to College and tried to bash down the door of one of the girls, splitting open a girl’s face in the process.
  • Male students at St. John’s voting on the ‘Fresher Five‘, a.k.a. the five most attractive female freshers. In a closed group called ‘Prime cuts and minute steaks‘, one of the organisers wrote in 2015: “Lads, gents and lords, fellas, khunts and boarz. JUDGEMENT DAY IS NIGHT. We’ve bided our time long enough… It’s time to deliberate on fresher five. With 60 [fresher women] to consider, there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but someone’s got to sort the salmon from the carp.”
  • A yearly tradition called ‘The Purge‘, where students are invited to post any embarrassing or humiliating photos on a closed Facebook group. In the 2016 Purge, men in the college would post pictures of the bra or underwear of women they’d slept with, along with captions like “The reigning heavyweight champion” or “heavyweight”.

  • Male students, on the rare occasions they attend female sporting competitions, shouting abuse at the athletes “calling them fat and making comments”.
  • A ritual known as ‘Soap Box’ where touch rugby players having to kneel down in front of other team players and recount a sexual experience, often with physical re-enactments.
  • A traditional wrestling match between two male fresher students (selected by student leaders). They are stripped down to their underwear and fight until one breaks the other one’s undies. Witnesses are often injured.
  • A ritual where before formal dinners, fresher students have to give impromptu accounts of their sex lives.
  • An incident in 2016 where male and female freshers were locked-in the uni-sex bathrooms and completely doused with buckets of dead, rotting fish.
  • Fresher students being assigned humiliating nicknames, like “Fresher Squirt”, Fresher Tampon” or “Fresher Chode”.
  • A tradition known as ‘Buffets‘, where students’ sexual exploits are announced over the college PA system.
  • Female students having their shirts ripped off during parties without consent.
  • A tradition known as ‘Walkabout‘, where fresher students are forced onto their hands and knees “like cattle” while older students bid on the right to abandon them across the countryside, often naked and/or highly intoxicated, forced to hitchhike their way back. In one incident, a student was allegedly tied to train tracks.
  • St Andrew’s forcing freshers to carry a brick during O-Week, which is given a female name and must be introduced to everyone before the fresher speaks. Students are punished for not abiding the rules by being forced to carry extra bricks.
  • A male student being forced to perform oral sex on a sex worker during a ‘boys club’ event.

This is just a handful of the incidences alleged in the report. Some of them – such as chants with the lines “I wish all the ladies / were little red foxes / and I was a hunter / so I could shoot them up their boxes” – date back to the 1990s, while others – such as the infamous ‘Rackweb‘ of Wesley College, where female students were given awards like ‘Best Ass’ or ‘Biggest Pornstar’ – only came to light in May 2016.

One incident, from 1977, detailed the rape and murder of 18-year-old student Annette Morgan, who was found partially naked on the grounds of St. Paul’s. Five days later, four St. Paul’s students received the ‘Animal Act of the Year‘ award for allegedly taking part in gang rape.

Faeces being smeared on walls or left in common spaces came up throughout. Many of the rituals were designed to expose students’ sexual history, often at the expense of their current or former partners.

Students might be given the opportunity to “opt out” to some of these rituals, but to do so would risk social exclusion.

“College culture is widespread and manipulative and toxic,” said Kendra Murphy, a former student at St. Andrew’s College who alleges she was raped by a fellow student. “It’s like an emotionally abusive partner… you feel like you hold power and are making decisions of your own free will but there is an unspoken pressure to adhere and perform as you should, and if you do not meet these expectations, you will be ostracised.”

EROC Australia is now calling for hazing to be criminalised.