Saturday, June 2, 2012
A sign with the same message appeared on a statue in the Swan River close to the campus.
The same day, the main social club on campus was to hold a party to “celebrate and commemorate the contemporary culture of our fair university/city (As seen on PerthNow).” The reference was to the publication on Perth Now of reports of sexual harassment and assault at a campus orientation camp at the beginning of the year.
The Facebook event page urged people to “Come as a journalist, a feminist, a uni hooligan or anything else that springs to mind when you think of Perth,Now!” – prompting postings like “I’ll cum as a rapist” and “the only way to cum” along with a plethora of other comments purportedly joking about the whole issue.
An activist with the UWA-based Feminist Action Network (FAN) spoke at a May 30 Socialist Alliance forum on women’s rights. She gave a first-hand account of the experiences of women at UWA orientation camps, and the coercion into drinking excessively and participating in humiliating sexual “games”.
In a positive sign, on May 30 the student guild did pass FAN’s motion to establish a working party to deal with the issues of safety on campus and at campus parties.
[This article by Kamala Emanuel was submitted to Green Left Weekly.]