The University of New England has been named in a damning report exposing the widespread culture of hazing, harassment and abuse on campus at Australian universities.
The Red Zone Report, published by Australian advocacy group End Rape On Campus, documents the culture of harassment, abuse and assault at a number of university residential colleges.
A number of alleged incidents of sexual assault and harassment at UNE were revealed by the national series of Freedom of Information requests lodged by Channel 7 FOI editor Alison Sandy.
Among the allegations was one account claiming a college took no action after a student and a number of her friends had been allegedly assaulted by a fellow college resident.
The allegedly offending student was given a leadership position in the college, and was given a key that allowed him to access all rooms in the college.
Other alleged incidents revealed by FOI include students nonconsensually filming women while showering and repeated harassment via online messaging platforms.
The report also documented St Albert’s tradition known as ‘Morality Court’ where students are required to divulge details of sexual experiences every week.
It is alleged students were rewarded and fined based on their sexual experiences during the week.
The 200-page report was released on Monday, coinciding with the first week of term for many universities.
In its recommendations, the report calls for a intervention to push a culture change. “The recommendations in this report are primarily targeted at the social and legislative framework that underpins the colleges, and towards other institutions that could hold colleges accountable and act to transform their culture,” it states.
“We believe that university administrations, as well as state and federal governments, have critical roles to play in shaping residential colleges’ responses to sexual violence. This is not to absolve the colleges of responsibility for addressing these issues, but rather to make clear that self-led internal reforms, in isolation, will rarely be effective in transforming the problematic cultures that are embedded within many residential colleges.”
UNE Vice-Chancellor Annabelle Duncan was contacted but was unavailable for comment before this story went to press.