Tw: Rape, sexual assault.
Durham University has withdrawn a student’s place due to “utterly abhorrent” comments on social media.
Social media comments discussed drug abuse, as well as concerns about being accused of rape. One fresher wrote that he would “sleep with a different bird every night just for a bed”.
This came to light after screenshots from fresher group chats were posted on Durham’s student forum page, Overheard at Durham Uni. Comments extended from “have I told you about the posh lads competing on f****** the poorest girl” and George Floyd “had it coming”.
The university launched an inquiry which included a lawyer and the police. One student was removed from their place at Durham. The university has not affirmed what this particular student said, but stated their “behaviour [fell] short of the values we uphold, as reflected in our regulations”.
We condemn the content and behaviour demonstrated in these social media posts, which is entirely unacceptable and violates the values and behaviours that we uphold as a university community
– Jeremy Cook
Jeremy Cook, pro-vice-chancellor, said: “Recently Durham University was made aware of some utterly abhorrent comments on social media purported to have been posted by Durham students. As we said at the time, we condemn the content and behaviour demonstrated in these social media posts, which is entirely unacceptable and violates the values and behaviours that we uphold as a university community.”
Mr Cook confirmed that two other students were found to have not broken the rules and were due to start their studies at Durham. He said others were found to have no association with the university, but investigations were continuing.
Lydia Gibson, a student who highlighted the posts, declared they were unacceptable and not “just lad banter”, and said “you can’t come to university and think that saying those types of things is OK”.
“Saying only one person has violated the requirements of their offer is a little bit disappointing,” she told BBC Newcastle.
“I’m not saying everyone should have their offer revoked, but I definitely believe there is more than one person involved in this who deserves serious repercussions.”