University for women: your chance to spend thousands to be bullied and intimidated by your fellow students

'Confronting ‘Lad Culture’ in Higher Education' makes for bewildering reading

Share

The freshers of 2013 are coming to the end of their first term – three months of studying and socialising, chips and cheesy music. If they’re lucky, they might already have made some friends for life or started to find their vocation. They might even have learned something.

If they’re unlucky, they might have been dancing on a night out when a fellow student shoved his hand up their skirt. Or they might have been playing a drinking game when they were forced to join in on the hilarious chant: “Women aren’t people! Women aren’t people!” Or they might have gone to a pub quiz featuring head-scratchers like: “Is it still rape if you kill her first?”

Those last three things all happened apparently at Nottingham, Warwick and another unnamed university. They feature in a new report, Confronting ‘Lad Culture’ in Higher Education, which was published today by the NUS and makes for bewildering reading. It collates responses from 15 student unions and 39 individuals to its April report called That’s What She Said. It researched “lad culture” on campus – from drunken packs on nights out to sexist, homophobic “banter” – a handy word that instantly indicates the person to avoid in any social situation.

Did they need a report? You would hope that this was just a question of isolated idiots, rather than the entire student body. But the report gives many more examples. The girls at Newcastle University who were “force-kissed” by men on a sports night out. The student who set up a feminist society at Nottingham Trent but had to close its Facebook page after vicious trolling from her fellow students. The Leeds student night called Freshers Violation. It may only be a minority of lads, but it is their banter that shouts the loudest on campus.

Today’s freshers have it hard. They have to lay out thousands for the privilege of continuing their education, with an ever-diminishing chance of a good job at the end of it. Everyone looks back on their student days with a rosy glow, but I am glad that when I was struggling with essay crises, hangovers and a taste for UK garage, I didn’t also have to contend with a Facebook page called Spotted which sends anonymous shout-outs to “fat slobs” in the library, or Shag at Uni’s competition to find “Britain’s horniest student” (first prize: £500, a crate of alcohol and a year’s supply of condoms). Or a campus so intimidating that the NUS feels the need to publish a report recommending a “zero tolerance policy” on sexual harassment.

That doesn’t sound like a fun place to grow into adulthood for anyone – male or female.

Twitter: @alicevjones

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We have an urgent requirement fo...

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£55 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We are looking to recruit two ...

Primary supply teachers required in Ipswich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron and Ed Miliband attend the Queen's Speech on 4 June 2014  

Scottish referendum: It's hard for us Labour supporters to admit, but Cameron did good here

Rob Marchant
NO ballots are stacked on a table during the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh  

Scottish referendum: Some divorces are meant to happen – this one wasn’t

Dotti Irving
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week