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Warwick University students banned for ‘shameful’ Facebook chats allowed back to studies


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Warwick University has faced a furious backlash for allowing students who made racist, antisemitic and misogynistic comments to return to campus and resume their studies. 

Eleven students were suspended by the Russell Group university last May after they made jokes about raping freshers and used racial slurs in Facebook messages. 

Today it emerged that four of those banned are set to return for the next academic year.

It can also revealed that some of the students have shown no remorse for their actions which they considered ‘no worse than any other lads or girls group chat’.

One of the undergraduates who previously stated ‘sometimes it’s fun to go wild and rape 100 girls’ has now joked in a message ‘let’s do it all again.’

Another student who said ‘Love Hitler, hate n****s and Jews and Corbyn’ in the original group chat, has now justified his comments and claimed they were ‘nothing’.

Writing in a new chat group called ‘Boys 2.0’, he said: ‘I just don’t believe for a second we are any worse than any other lads or girls group chat’.

He added: ‘Read some of my chats from home. This was literally nothing’ as well as ‘Did it go too far tho – I disagree.’

It remains unclear whether he is one of the students set to return to university.  

One member of the group replied using the term ‘p**i’, while further remarks included ‘love Hitler, hate n****s and jews and Corbyn’.

The university became aware of the Facebook group chat – called ‘F*** women, Disrespect them all’, after almost 100 screenshots of the comments came to light.

It launched a formal investigation, which led to one student being banned from campus for life, and another two students banned for 10 years

Two more students were required to withdraw from the university for a year with immediate effect and face disciplinary penalties, along with three others.

The case against one student was found to be not proven while two others were cleared of wrongdoing.

But four of the five students who were originally banned are now set to return.

Eleven students were suspended by the prestigious university last May over racist, antisemitic and misogynistic comments made in a Facebook group chat

Eleven students were suspended by the prestigious university last May over racist, antisemitic and misogynistic comments made in a Facebook group chat

A leaked report of a university investigation obtained by student news site The Tab revealed some of those responsible had shown ‘little evidence of any real contrition’.

It found the second group was set up shortly after the first one was exposed and messages sent between them still contained ‘deeply misogynistic’ content.

Some admitted they only participated in posting offensive material as they felt it was the ‘only way to sustain friendships with the other students in the group’.

Others even argued in interviews with campus bosses they should not be being investigated because the things were said in a ‘private group’ no one would see.

According to the Warwick Tab, one of them said: ‘I don’t feel bad about it when people who shouldn’t have read about it have seen them, because it wasn’t for them to read.

‘They shouldn’t have read the chat. Were they expecting compliments or something. If you open this chat when you’re not in it, you are asking to be offended.

‘It’s letting people stick their noses in where it doesn’t belong.’

The decision to allow the students back onto campus has sparked outrage on social media

The decision to allow the students back onto campus has sparked outrage on social media

The university became aware of the Facebook group chat - called 'F*** women, Disrespect them all' - after almost 100 screenshots of the vile comments came to light

The university became aware of the Facebook group chat – called ‘F*** women, Disrespect them all’ – after almost 100 screenshots of the vile comments came to light

Fellow students reacted with anger and disgust at the university’s decision, describing as a ’embarrassment’ and ‘pathetic’.

Social media users are now expressing their disgust using the hashtag, #ShameOnYouWarwick.

Meg Wain tweeted: ‘A group of Warwick uni lads make a chat about how they want to rape you and mutilate girls you know, admit that they’d do it again and still get invited back with open arms the following academic year. Nah I’m made.’

Lizzy Dowling, a parent of a student, tweeted: ‘As the parent of a 2nd year Warwick student I am shocked at the lenient treatment of the culprits.’

The university launched at formal investigation, which led to one student being banned from campus for life, and another two students banned for 10 years

The university launched at formal investigation, which led to one student being banned from campus for life, and another two students banned for 10 years

The Warwick Student Union said: 'We share reservations regarding some aspects of the handling of University disciplinary procedures and are continuing to push for a meaningful review of the process'

The Warwick Student Union said: ‘We share reservations regarding some aspects of the handling of University disciplinary procedures and are continuing to push for a meaningful review of the process’

In a statement today the University of Warwick apologised for the upset caused by the decision to allow some of the punished students to return.

Provost Professor Christine Ennew said: ‘The University remains clear that the behaviour of the individuals who have been found culpable as a result of the investigation, and in the subsequent disciplinary processes, is both abhorrent and unacceptable in any circumstance.

‘The behaviour shown by the individuals concerned goes against all of our values as a community. We are sorry that the decision as a result of our processes has upset so many members of our own community and beyond.

‘The University started an investigation as soon as we were made aware of the content of the first group chat. It was that investigation that uncovered a second group chat, and both were then investigated at the same time. The second chat is not a more recent event as some comments on social media may suggest.

‘The police were consulted at the very start of the process and they reviewed the material. They decided that there were no matters in which they could bring any charges and that they were content for the University investigation to proceed.

‘At the conclusion of the investigation, disciplinary hearings were held for a number of the students involved in the two chat groups. These resulted in a range of sanctions being imposed.

‘Like all other universities and public bodies, we allow appeals to be made against the outcomes of disciplinary process. These have to be heard by a different panel with no overlap with those involved in the first hearing.

‘The appeals panel gave each case thorough and detailed consideration. In neither case was the appeal about the issue of culpability. Rather, the appeals panel focused instead on the scale of the penalties. As a result of those hearings two adjustments were made.

‘Privacy considerations mean that we are not able to disclose the specific details on which the decisions were made; however the panel reached the view that there were clear reasons to require that the punishments imposed should be comparable across all of those individuals sanctioned by the major disciplinary process.

‘As a consequence, all those students for whom the major disciplinary cases were proven have broadly comparable penalties, and those penalties were set to allow the complainants to complete their studies before the disciplined students were given the opportunity to return.

‘The penalties imposed combine direct punishment for the deeply offensive and threatening comments made during the chats, future behavioural restrictions and a requirement to engage in processes to enable them to learn from their past unacceptable behaviours.

‘We would like to reiterate that this behaviour goes completely against our values as a community.’

Warwick Student Union said in a statement: ‘The SU is aware of considerable unease around the final outcome of the appeals process with regards to the group chat investigation. We share reservations regarding some aspects of the handling of University disciplinary procedures and are continuing to push for a meaningful review of the process.

‘We remain shocked by the content of the group chat, and our stance continues to be that sexism, racism and oppression of any kind have no place within our community. The SU maintains a zero-tolerance approach to this.; 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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