EXCLUSIVE: Wesley College ‘Rackweb’ slut-shames female students, calls them 'bitches' and 'hoes'

Date : 10 May 2016 07:17 PM
  • Aparna Balakumar

UPDATE: In a statement released to The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday May 11, the Master of Wesley College, Lisa Sutherland said: "The college does not endorse the contents of the student journal and has zero tolerance to any anti-social behaviour at the college.

"Wesley College has absolutely no involvement in the editorial content, production or distribution of the journal.

"The Student's Club has apologised for the content of the 2014 journal and has agreed that the journal will no longer be published. There will instead be a Wesley College Students Club Yearbook that will not contain any material outside the academic, cultural and sporting pursuits of the students."
 



Female university students say they are being humiliated and defamed in a widely distributed journal which calls them ‘hoes’ and ‘bitches’ and shames the woman who has allegedly slept with the most men.

The publication produced by residents of Sydney University’s Wesley College devotes a page to ‘The RackWeb’, a graph allegedly identifying inter-college "hook-ups".


A number of distressed female students who spoke to Pulp anonymously, for fear of retribution, said the journal was designed to make them look like ‘sluts’.

Awards are given to females in categories including: "Best Ass", "Best Cleavage", "Biggest Pornstar" and "Kinkiest Collegian".

One section reads: “We might be sexist, but you lovely bitches and hoes should know we’re trying to correct this.”

‘Freshers’ are defined “primarily for… [their] willingness to put out for their seniors” and for “enabling all the hook-ups a sleazy, pussy-hungry adolescent could dream of.”

But the title of “Mrs RackWeb” is reserved for the woman the 2014 Wesley College Journal claims has slept with the most men.


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One of the female students shamed by the publication said she stopped having relations with boys at the University out of fear of gaining a ‘reputation’ forever marked in print.

Her unease started when she was handed an instruction manual at OWeek that included a college chant calling Sancta Sophia College students “Skanktas” who were “always on their backs”.

Another student said the Journal had ruined her life at the University.

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When her parents wondered why their once bubbly daughter had become so withdrawn, she did not have the heart to tell them about the allegations in the Journal.

“I know for a fact a guy would have written that and it’s just so misogynistic and so inappropriate to write. And that’s published forever. I can’t do anything about that. There’ll be online versions…

“It's just slander handed to everyone on a platter and students voluntarily, let alone gladly, accept it…People just don’t understand. They think I’m exaggerating and my disenchantment has no substance. But it’s worse than people could ever imagine."


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When she was sexually assaulted by a male at college, his friends began to harass her online afterwards, joking she should 'hook-up’ with him again.

“They made it seem like I was the slut in the situation. The whole idea of college is pretty much you’re a slut if you’re a girl no matter what you do and you’re just a king if you’re a guy. That’s why everything has just been tarnished from that point for me and I just view college as so awful now. I just can’t say anything good about it.”


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Victim-blaming is also paramount as she questions how her intoxication may have ‘invited’ her own assault.  

“I think a big thing about college is when you’re not in control of your body, so when you’re not sober, you can get very easily taken advantage of… which happened to me a lot when I did start drinking.

“It stripped me of all self-worth, of all self-respect, just everything because I was taken advantage of so much. And partly it was my fault because I did get drunk a lot…”

A 2014 ‘Christmas in July’ party played a factor in some students deciding to leave Wesley College, as attendees were encouraged to be photographed for an annual nude calendar to raise funds for Wesley’s Overseas Student Experience (OSE), despite being significantly inebriated and not signing consent for its distribution.

“There was a lot of pressure to do it,” one student said.

No members of the Wesley cohort Pulp spoke to remember who has the original copies of the images or if the photographer has any intentions of using them again.

At another college-hosted party, a security guard began to assault a drunk girl, another student revealed. When she tried to follow-up on the progress of her friend’s investigation with staff she was told that the incident was being handled internally. At the end of semester, the friend claimed she had not heard back from Wesley management at all.

Instances of boys bashing on girls’ doors in the middle of the night, goon (colloquially termed “slut juice”) being poured into freshers’ mouths against their will, males poking female residents unexpectedly with rulers while they took showers, and some students walking around telling freshers to look out for the rapist on the floor (and later revealing this was a ’joke’), were also revealed.

Lisa Sutherland, Master of Wesley College, told Pulp that since the College Journal was not an official or sanctioned college publication, while staff recognised its existence they did not censor any part of it.

When pressed as to whether Wesley staff members were in any way involved in editing or providing financial, logistical or other support towards the Journal, she said: “Wesley College is not involved in the production of or distribution of the ‘Student Journal’….I cannot comment on the validity of the contents as I have not seen nor read this publication.

“It is not available publicly or online. I understand it is produced by The Wesley College Students Club Inc. and distributed to its members only.”

However, all undergraduate students pay a compulsory membership fee of $450 and make a $850 ‘voluntary donation’ to the Wesley Students Club Inc per annum, a 2014 tax statement and undergraduate contract leaked exclusively to Pulp reveal.


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Therefore, all 270 Wesley residents finance and receive a copy of the Journal that shames many of them inside.


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This is not the first time Wesley has come under fire for condoning sexism and perpetuating misogyny.  In 2013, CLEO Magazine went undercover at their OWeek celebrations and uncovered disturbing reports of sexual harassment and bullying.

At the time Sutherland released a statement saying: ''The College [Wesley] is now investigating the alleged incidents as we take such claims seriously and have strict procedures in place to deal with any complaints brought to the college's attention.''

However, as one student concedes, perhaps the very problem is that those removed from college culture expect anything to change.

“No college person who has done awful things will ever learn from their mistakes. I have seen awful twats who I know are going to become CEOs and they’ll never regret anything.

“Nothing is ever going to happen. It’s just such a depressing system of college that these things happen at all…”

 

Comments


  • 18 Comments

  • Usyd student
    Great, a lovely breach of privacy and publication of a private document. Good luck with the up-coming lawsuits from both female and male students. Any document taken out of context will have its meaning rendered null and void. Classic Usyd female mafia beat up.

  • Disgusted reader
    Truly pathetic writing. Go back to the drawing board, get your 'facts' corrected and then try writing this again. When will individuals take responsibility for their own actions? I went through college hardly drinking and it was the most supportive times of my life. To see fun, optional activities, which one has to voluntarily opt into, taken out of context and dirtied is utterly disgraceful. How about you report on the drug infested, absurdly drunk parties that are sanctioned by your own USU wherein dozens of women are sexually assaulted at each event. Why don't we ever hear about those? Oh, because it's better to slander others and the perceived 'elite'. Yes, to get into a college you do have to demonstrate at least two of the following to have any chance of attendance: high intelligence, leadership excellence or high performance within a sport Do your 'job' properly, and move on from the politics of envy. Sincerely, A recent USyd Graduate and Wowser (Woman of Wesley)

  • Concerned Counter-cultural Contra-College Counsel
    To @UsydStudent - Please get your legal facts straight - Publication and distribution of most material negates the premise of document privacy. To be a private document, each person who receives the journal would need to sign a confidentiality agreement (which to me seems like fascism). Lawsuits for breaches of privacy for such a form of published material are a pure fallacy. If you are referring to lawsuits for defamation, any good lawyer will tell you that she is able to defend the imputations of this article (hence why she sought sources, and asked Wesley staff to comment). As for any document taken out of context? She has interviewed individuals from Wesley to comment on the piece, before expressing the overall comment on it (Hence contextualising if). And even if it were taken out of context, that doesn't make it null and void... it is still disgusting. E.g. sexism in the form of a jovial conversation (where people are 'only joking') still doesn't make it OKAY. Thanks

  • Gravely Disappointed
    To @Usyd student: Apart from your legal errors pointed out by CCCCC, let's just consider the content. Private or not, this is not how thoughtful, respectful citizens of the world think about others – let alone say it out loud or print it in a publication. If you think this is acceptable, please present some reasons. I'm listening.

  • L
    "To be a private document, each person who receives the journal would need to sign a confidentiality agreement (which to me seems like fascism)" Wow, I hope you're not a law student...

  • Zameer
    Great work, Aparna. I've heard boys talking rubbish about girls on more than one occasion and couldn't feel more disgusted by the views they had. When countered they tried to make me feel as if I'm old school and Not cool. I only pity their upbringing, their parents, sisters and wives (if they ever manage to get one). This should have been exposed by the Uni authorities. Ironic !

  • DontMindMeJustWaitingForFacts
    So this was published in 2014 and yet not a single person outside one anonymous poster can prove it exists? You better hope this isn't fake, as the school will have direct records of it's existence as it was purchased with school money. Especially when they are still unable to locate who printed this or of it is legit. So it's already leaning towards hoax. Though it's absolutely laughable that people are raging that it's "misogyny"against women despite listing the men's names as well and at no point disparaging the women involved, in fact praising them for looks and sexual prowess.

  • Shame on the septics
    For the person waiting for " the facts" grow up. Not everything in this world is a hoax. It's real and it's shameful.

  • DontMindMeJustWaitingForFacts
    Thanks for proving my point, user whos name is due to being unable to spell or thinks opposing scepticism is somehow admirable.

  • Wesley Student.
    This is the biggest load of rubbish I've ever read. I know exactly what happened in all of these situations. And it certainly isn't what you've written. Typical journalist - scum of the earth, make up anything to get your name out there and sell a story. The reason you attack the colleges is because you never had the chance to experience the amazing times here, and jealous that we do it better.

  • Zombeaver
    The media beat-up is arguably going to do more harm to the victims than the original document. If the victims want to take action, shouldn't they complain to the university? What help is this kind of megaphone condemnation going to give to those victims? Seems like more feminists trampling the victims in their fight 'for the cause'.

  • Shame on the septics
    You mindless twat it wasn,'t a spelling error I was calling you sewage

  • Former USyd Student
    I think it's disgraceful that it has taken media attention to stop the circulation of this vile document - it was just as disgusting and offensive in the years beforehand, including 2011 - my first (and thankfully) final year at Wesley. A weak display from a college Master who should have put a stop to the publication of this journal 1) before the first document was ever circulated, 2) when it continued to be circulated in the following years, and 3) when media attention was on sexism in Sydney colleges in 2013, if saving face is her priority over curbing sexist behavior. It's also worth noting that the Facebook event to the Wesley alumni ball earlier this year, cancelled due to lack of ticket sales, contained references (which some alumni from the shallow end of the gene pool found amusing) to a female student being attractive despite looking like a victim of domestic violence. Some people never learn, do they? Stop this repulsive behavior before it even happens, not just as a reaction to media attention.

  • HAHA
    Hahaha defensive lil 18yo 'pre-law' college students, grasping for weak excuses as to why this lack of class and abuse of college privilege is OKAY "whine whine whine! the ppl who released this document r breaching privacy! you'll b hearing from my lawyers about dis!!" poor lil rich kiddos. we don't give a damn about your right to 'privacy'. if this fabulous elitist little world-grade journal had a segment dedicated to racism and its propagation, the fact that it's a 'private' publication still wouldn't make it okay. we'd all still conclude that the authors of the piece are a**holes who condone their own promiscuity but shun women who own theirs. who think it's okay and funny intimidate women. who think it's okay to take advantage of drunk women. who think their mediocre sense of humor is more importance than basic human decency. sorry we all found out that your boys club mentality is still alive and rampant and sh*tty as ever

  • Male
    Anybody who subscribes to the train of thought that this is a 'breach of privacy' is a disgusting human being who does not deserve to live in Australia or, for that matter, on the face of this Earth. There is no context in any parallel universe that would make this type of publication okay... If anyone is going to defend this article, they are likely to be misogynistic, have no morals and definitely not believe in equality between males and females. The writers and publishers deserve to be found, severely punished for their crimes and then expelled from the college. Saying that there are worse things that happen in other places does not discount the severity of the actions of these individuals, it only serves to strengthen the argument that women are not treated how they should be in Australia. This truly disgusts me, I am ashamed of what society has become...

  • Former Female Wesley College student
    This type of document has been published by the college since the 80's. A prominent person (comedian, abc radio host, author and former lawyer) was the editor of a version of this year book and put together a more low tech web of hook ups then with the help of other students. Drinking, kicking in female students' doors by male students and harassment of female students has been going on for many years. At least "Walkabout" appears to have stopped where they drag freshers out to the wilderness and drop them off without money to get back. My daughters would not be going there.

  • Shame on YOU Lisa
    TO Master of Wesley College, Lisa Sutherland. You should be totally ashamed of your inability to do the job that you are paid to do which among other things is to provide a SAFE learning environment for students. I don't understand how you can sit in your glass tower and not hear it cracking all around you as I am of the opinion that you know only too well that this muck rag exists. This article is overflowing with truth and and in my opinion it is fully believable.

  • Maj Variola
    Holy cow, $450 a year compulsory? What wealthy students..