The University of WA has banned student guild orientation camps and all alcohol-related advertising and sponsorship for orientation events after a review of allegations of improper behaviour on camps.
Vice-chancellor Paul Johnson set up the review in June after allegations emerged in May of sexual assault claims, underage binge drinking and gross acts of indecency on the annual orientation camp run by the student guild.
“The orientation experience at Guild events for students starting in 2013 and onwards will be very different to those of the past,” Professor Johnson said.
“While it is important that students have fun while studying at the university, and can socialise with their fellow students, it is critical that these activities are undertaken safely and responsibly.”
The panel found that many of the camps organised by the Guild were “high-risk” camps with no appropriate risk-management plans.
They were held in remote or unsafe venues without mobile phone communication, did not have appropriately trained leaders, served reduced price alcohol, and ran activities inconsistent with University values.
The panel also deemed inappropriate the level of alcohol-related advertising and sponsorship at orientation events.
It recommended that licensed clubs and hotels not be invited to take part in the guild O-day festival or any other orientation event.
The West Australian reported in May that at the last three-day orientation camp, held in February at Dwellingup, camp leaders would stick their fingers down the throats of younger students to make them vomit so they could continue drinking.During one of the camp parties, students were reportedly having sex on tables near a dance floor while the leaders handed out condoms to the boys and told girls the morning-after pill was available.
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