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Student Felt "Sexually Liberated" At College That Produced "Kinkiest Collegian" Journal

"I categorically disagree with the journal as a vehicle of slut shaming because the culture at Wesley was quite liberating and empowering and equal in social terms between males and females."

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Female students at the University of Sydney's prestigious Wesley college last week spoke out about being called “hoes” and “bitches” and given awards for the “best ass”, “biggest pornstar” and “kinkiest collegian” in a widely distributed college journal.

Extracts from Wesley Journal 2014

Extracts from Wesley Journal 2014

The Wesley Journal 2014 - a publication produced and funded by the college's students' club - also included a section called "The RackWeb", which mapped out inter-college hook-ups.

This week, Sydney University students sealed their mouths with tape and held a candlelight vigil outside Wesley college in protest against sexual harassment and assault on campus.

But a former Wesley resident told BuzzFeed News she was "distressed" by the protest.

Brendon Thorne / Getty Images

"Making someone like me and the majority of women who attended Wesley that year as passive victims who chose to stay and chose to pay to stay, that that is now being depicted as systematically misogynistic is offensive," said the former resident of the college, who wanted to remain anonymous.

"It takes away from our legitimate experiences and mine as a woman and proud feminist and takes away from victims of legitimate assault or harassment."

She stressed that there were male and female editors on the Wesley Journal 2014 team and that anyone who felt uncomfortable would have "known someone who was on the editorial team".

"It was a document only distributed to people who had that context: it was written by a bunch of friends for a bunch of friends as a memory of the year," she said. "The depiction of Wesley in the media is so foreign to almost everyone who went there."

Another female former resident told BuzzFeed News the journal was collated through voluntary submissions and the RackWeb documented kisses, not sex.

Wesley Journal 2014 extract

Wesley Journal 2014 extract

She said most of the editorial team would identify as feminists and did not fit into the misogynistic culture portrayed by critics.

This week the university released a survey that found a quarter of students reported experiencing some form of unwanted behaviour, sexual harassment or sexual assault during their time at the university.

The university has enlisted former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick to help clean up the culture at the institution's residential colleges.

Students protesting this week
Honi Soit / Via

Students protesting this week

"It is understood the university is considering stripping the colleges of their land if they fail to co-operate with the investigations," Fairfax reported.

Broderick led four investigations into gender discrimination in the Australian Defence Force.

Sydney University residential college officer Justine Landis-Hanley told BuzzFeed News she had been contacted by dozens of female students from other colleges with other stories of incidents and attitudes that were allowed to flourish in what was a "very forgiving culture".


"One student sent me pictures of a burnt gay pride flag that was found lying on the St. Andrew's [College] grounds amid beer cans after their formal party last year," she said.

It's unclear whether the flag was burned intentionally.

There was a "veil of secrecy" around these institutions, Landis-Hanley said.

"What is permissible inside this bubble is really different and intimacy is fostered between college students because there are no boundaries."