Warning: This article contains information about sexual assault and suicide which may be distressing for some readers.
When Gabbie Lynch was accepted into one of the country’s most “prestigious” institutions, Sydney University, to study a Bachelor of Arts, she was excited for the start of her university experience.
She was also thrilled to be living at St John’s College during her studies, believing the on-campus building was “beautiful” and the college had “such a sense of history”.
“But I had no idea about the reputation of the USyd colleges… I was quite naive about all of it and what to expect,” she said.
Watch Gabbie Lynch speak to ABC’s 7.30 in the video below.
It wasn’t until orientation week she realised what she had walked into: she was immediately given a humiliating “fresher” nickname, and was forced to sit cross-legged on the filthy ground of the college bar for hours on end.
If she or any of her fellow newcomers were caught talking, they would be “yelled at and forced to skol alcohol”.
Gabrielle’s story comes as part of a damning new 200-page report, called The Red Zone Report, released today by organisation End Rape On Campus Australia and seen by Mamamia. The report draws its title from orientation week, the time in which first-year students are the most vulnerable to sexual assault, hazing and excessive alcohol consumption, most often at the hands of older students.