Student news round-up: Sexual assaults on freshers reported across the country

 

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The Independent Online

Widespread sexual assaults during freshers' weeks

Newspapers around the country have reported sexual attacks on students as the new academic year gets underway.

Inquire, at the University of Kent, reports that a female student was assaulted in the early hours of the morning on a footpath near a sports centre.

The Gryphon, formerly the Leeds Student, says a woman was attacked on her way home from a nightclub. Police have released CCTV images of a man they want to trace.

In Manchester a woman was sexually assaulted after leaving the students' union by a man claiming to be a taxi driver, according to The Mancunion. The paper also carries reports of drink spiking at union events.

The Tab meanwhile carries reports of seven attacks around the country, at Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Kingston and Sussex. In the last incident, a female student was followed to her room inside her hall of residence.

Hidden cameras reveal banned initiation ceremonies

Freshers were intimidated, forced to drink alcohol from shoes and made to kiss a dead eel, an undercover investigation by student newspaper Exeposé has found.

The students, who were attending a 'welcome drinks' event for the University of Exeter Athletic Football Club, were caught on a hidden camera by a reporter. The event was being held at a venue on campus, despite a ban on initiation ceremonies since an Exeter student died during an event eight years ago. 

The university and Athletic Union said they operate a strict code of conduct and that students would be disciplined if they were found to have breached it.

An Exeter vs Bath football varsity was later cancelled by the university because of concerns about anti-social student behaviour.

Students in solidarity with Hong Kong protests

Students in Glasgow, Leeds and Exeter took part in protests this week to raise awareness of the unrest in Hong Kong.

The Glasgow Guardian reports that "a large number" of students rallied outside the university library on Wednesday, as part of a wider Glasgow initiative.

In Leeds on the same day, "dozens" of students stood in protest outside the students' union to show solidarity.

On Thursday, Exeter students held a silent sit-down rally outside a university building. They were supported by the local MP, Ben Bradshaw, who said: "I congratulate the students of Exeter University in their sign of solidarity with the people of Hong Kong."

Sussex cashes in on student ID cards

The University of Sussex made around £28,000 over the last five years from issuing replacement staff and student ID cards, according to a Freedom of Information request made by The Badger.

The university has had to reissue 3,577 cards since January 2010 as a result of damage or loss, each time for a fee of £10. It called this "a small charge" and said the profits went towards the costs of future ID cards.

Work starts on £1bn Cambridge expansion

Varsity reports that construction has begun on the "north-west Cambridge development", a 150 hectare expansion of the university's grounds.

The site, which will cost £1bn to develop, will include 3,000 houses, graduate accommodation and research facilities. The area will not be based around a new college, however.

A university spokesman called the plans "natural extension to the city".

The Cambridge Student meanwhile reports that the development has won the "Future Projects – Masterplanning" award at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.

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