Warwick students suspended for rape threats allowed to return to campus early
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Two students who were part of a sick group chat that talked about raping female students will be back on campus after successfully appealing their ten year ban.
From talking of having “surprise sex” with freshers to saying they would rape a named female flatmate, the disgusting messages in the group chat shook the University of Warwick’s community last summer.
After a disciplinary investigation, Warwick suspended five students.
Two were banned for ten years, two were excluded for one year, and one was given a lifetime campus ban.
However The Boar has revealed the two students who were banned for ten years have successfully appealed, reducing their ban to just one year.
The news has outraged students as it means four out of the five men initially suspended will be back on campus and in lectures in September 2019.
Some of the women the men discussed raping and sexually assaulting are still studying at Warwick and the thought of bumping into them is frightening.
One woman who was targeted says she feels "terrified at the prospect of having these boys in my seminars".
In an open letter to Warwick University, which has been published anonymously in The Boar, one of the women directly named in the group chat says she has relapsed back into depression and an eating disorder. She also explains how she has developed anxiety and is on medication due to the suffering she has experienced.
The woman, who is currently on a study year abroad, accuses Warwick of lacking in support. “My university abroad has been far more helpful in offering support for my mental health than you, Warwick,” she writes.
The unnamed woman goes on to claim Warwick has “forgotten about and humiliated the victims” and argues it is “unacceptable” she “may have to come face to face with them again just to continue my education”. The reduced punishment is equivalent to “nothing but a slap on the wrist,” she says.
She viewed the men in the group chat as her friends, until she discovered their twisted conversations about rape and assault. “These boys were my friends – like my brothers. And they destroyed me. To think of the friendship, I had with them – to recall that some of them had slept on my floor, met my parents and knew where I lived – and then to read the threats made behind my back was beyond difficult.”
Today - 31 January - Provost Christine Ennew released a statement on the matter of the students’ appeal and impending return.
“The University remains clear that the behaviour of the individuals who have been found culpable as a result of the investigation, and in the subsequent disciplinary processes, is both abhorrent and unacceptable in any circumstance.
“The behaviour shown by the individuals concerned goes against all of our values as a community. We are sorry that the decision as a result of our processes has upset so many members of our own community and beyond." The full statement can be read here.
Past and present students who were not targeted in the chat but are angry at the outcome of the men's appeals have hit out at Warwick’s decision to allow them to return.
A group of Warwick uni lads make a chat about how they want to rape you and mutilate girls you know, admit that they’d do it again and still get invited back with open arms the following academic year. Nah I’m mad— medusa (@meg_wain) January 28, 2019
I don't know how many of you are aware of the Warwick group chat story, but I worked on the original investigation last year and have followed the case closely since. I'm disgusted at @warwickuni's incompetence over the whole matter and I'm embarrassed to call myself an alumnus— thot noodle (@thediyora) January 30, 2019
As a uni of Warwick fresher there are no words to describe how scary and devastating this is https://t.co/UbfEENpOyn— Maryam (@maryam1975_) January 30, 2019
Warwick is an A* university with D- conduct and it’s incredibly disappointing to see a uni that has pushed safe sexual conduct in appearances so hard prove that at the top level they truly could not give less of a shit. I love my uni but I hate the behaviour it condones https://t.co/TvRuO0Te4W— lady soph (@sophie_farrant) January 30, 2019