Residential colleges in Australia have generally been built by the foundations of privileged and wealthy families through passing generations. As a result, the sense of entitlement has created a stoic superior school society where bad press gets brushed under the carpet with a few too many dollars.
This year, a number of independent journalists rallied together to conduct an investigation to dissect the cultures and behaviors of men who commit sexual crimes on university campuses in Australia. This is how the 200-page long Red Zone Report came about. The report was released to the public in February this year by the End Rape on Campus Australia (EROC) organization.
Rape and Degradation
It highlighted several areas; college rituals, sexual assault and harassment, excessive alcohol consumption, and examples of prejudices against women. College rituals included hazing and initiation practices for new students to be accepted into the cliques of the colleges.
The majority of these behaviors occurred during the first week of orientation at the beginning of the school year. It is commonly referred to as O Week for first-year university students. After this report was published, O Week now became known as ‘The Red Zone’ as sexual assault, hazing, and other ritualistic college traditions significantly increased during this one week.
A Superior Society
The report had its focus on residential colleges as these are the campuses which had the highest ratings of such behaviors. Residential colleges are well known for having swarms of cliquey students often described as superior and ignorant.
Students were interviewed, case studies were revealed, academic research was conducted, as well as cross-examining police reports of these sexual crimes. Research went as far back as the 1930s to see the timeline of where the demeaning and violent behavior originated from.
Red Zone Facts
Statistically speaking, after careful study of the report, it appears that 1 in 8 sexual assaults occurred nationwide on Australian university campuses. There are 43 universities in the country. The statistics add up very quickly and it’s not a pretty number either.
Rape survivors from several universities have spoken out against the crime stating that the colleges are quick to ignore the reports of rape and not investigate further into the matter to find the truth. Graphic images of hazing amongst others are shown in the report. It also detailed the degrading rituals which occurred such as ‘Fresher Grooming’.
One of the case studies presented in the report was that of Stuart Kelly. He only spent one night at St Paul’s college. The next day he begged his family to take him home but he never spoke of the events of the night before. Months later, Stuart Kelly took his own life.
Suspicions that hazing occurred on Stuart’s first night at the college have surfaced. Today, his parents and EROC are demanding a coronary inquest into the untimely death of Stuart. Let justice be served for Stuart and those who remain silenced by society.