After Aria Kirwan complained about the allegedly degrading and sexually explicit hazing rituals she endured, she said her concerns were downplayed as ‘homesickness’ by the head of Adelaide University’s St Mark’s College.
Speaking to Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes, 18-year-old Kirwan said she left the university last week after she was the victim of extreme initiation rituals during Orientation Week. She alleges the university staff did nothing to address her complaints, putting her discomfort down to homesickness.
Watch Aria Kirwan speak on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.
Kirwan claimed she was told to massage senior male students, force-fed food that had been spat on, made to watch porn and participate in sexually explicit behaviour.
She explained the backlash for refusing was often worse than the tasks themselves. “One boy walks around the school with a dead fish hanging around his neck because he chose to opt out,” she told 60 Minutes.
Her story comes after a 200-page report called The Red Zone, produced by the group End Rape on Campus, was released last Monday detailing the torturous rituals taking place in Australian residential colleges.
“They call it tradition. But tradition isn’t torture,” Sharna Bremner from End Rape on Campus told Channel Nine.
“Tradition isn’t a kid that’s too scared to leave their room. They are broken. Some of them are completely broken.”
Expert in campus consent Vanessa Grigoriadis explains the importance of ‘mattress girl’. Post continues below.
Appearing alongside Kirwan on 60 Minutes was Kendra Murphy, a former student at St Andrew’s College of Sydney University.
Murphy alleges she was raped at the college in 2014. She was 19 at the time and learnt of her rape from a third-year student who messaged her the morning after a night of drinking.
“She said I was the one who put you to bed last night, and I don’t think you could have consented,” Murphy told 60 Minutes. “Apparently I kept saying ‘don’t’ and ‘I just want my pillow’.”
She blames her assault, in part, on the college’s extreme drinking culture and said the university did nothing to investigate.
Kendra Murphy was 19 when she was raped at St Andrew’s College, Sydney University in 2014. She blames the college – and the extreme drinking culture it encourages – for what happened that terrible night. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/1ykeANcub8
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) March 4, 2018