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UNSW college students pen apology for video ‘glorifying acts of rape’

Justine Landis-Hanley reports.

Residents of UNSW’s Philip Baxter College have signed a letter of apology after a video caught them objectifying women and glorifying rape in song at a college event circulated online on Tuesday.

In the letter, students of the college say they “acknowledge and understand the boundaries that we have crossed”, and as a community “condemn the actions outlined within the chants and their misogynistic sentiments”.

“Bringing this issue to light has made us realise the naivety we have been clouded by for not realising the impact issues of this nature have on society,” it went on.

“We will ensure that there is an increase in education and awareness internally to make sure that our residents understand and appreciate this very prevalent societal issue.”

The video, allegedly filmed by two Baxter students on a mobile phone and obtained by Junkee, showed a crowd of young men heard chanting misogynistic and sexually violent lyrics.

The incident allegedly took place during a bus ride to a nightclub for a ‘boys’ night out’ organized by college students last Friday night.

The young men can be heard chanting lyrics about women, proclaiming they would “shoot them in their boxes”, “cream them by the dozen” and “fill them with my load”.

One of the men can be heard at the end of the video, saying “I’m going to post this [the video] to the page now”.

The apology comes after the University of NSW and its student organisations publicly condemned the incident, with the Student Representative Council leading students in a snap protest against the behavior this afternoon.

In an official statement about the footage, the UNSW Women’s Collective said they believe “this type of behavior speaks to persisting attitudes within universities and society at large, which perpetuates a culture that is degrading to women and normalize acts of sexual assault and gendered violence”.

UNSW released a statement in which is said it was “appalled by the sexist and demeaning attitudes and behaviours” shown in the video, and that the University will be working with staff, students groups and colleges to ensure similar incidents don’t occur.

This isn’t the first time UNSW colleges have been called out for sexist behavior. In 2014, UNSW student publication Tharunka reported students from Warrane College chanted “Shalom girls are sluts” at a football match against the rival girls’ college.

The UNSW Student Representative Council says they are working to improve policy around sexual assault and reporting, and that the colleges have scheduled seminars and workshops about these issues.