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Australia: Sydney college students endorse Catholic values…

November 4, 2012

Misogyny, cover-ups and bizarre rituals involving bodily fluids.

When a degrading initiation ritual left a teenage girl clinging to life in hospital, the fallout was supposed to bring order and cultural change to Australia’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic college, St John’s.

Eight months on, nothing has changed. Police have been called to investigate widespread vandalism including smashed windows and doors, furniture broken or set on fire, and graffiti. Faeces are routinely found in common areas and bedrooms. Every second Friday, the student committee has decreed that all Johnsmen not speak to any female students – who are known as ”Jets”: the term is an acronym for ”just excuse the slag”.

Freshers are still being forced into initiation rituals, including the consumption of toxic drinks. And some senior students are showing a cavalier disregard for the fallout from the poisoned girl’s near-death, and have even printed T-shirts that celebrate the incident.

The college’s honorary dean and a member of the college’s executive have quit in disgust, with many former executives and existing students calling on Australia’s highest-ranked Catholic, Sydney Archbishop George Pell, to intervene and ”rescue” the 150-year-old institution from ”a crippling disease”.


Pell do something useful? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Update 2012-12-21:

Fairfax Media understood St John’s would start next year with a zero-tolerance policy towards outdated rituals, excessive drinking and anti-social behaviour.


So, not Catholic any more, then?

Update: The Rector has jumped ship — or been pushed.


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