Warwick students suspended for rape chat 'won't return'

Image source, Getty Images

Two University of Warwick students, who were involved in an online group chat that threatened rape, will not be returning, despite a ban on their attendance being lifted.

The pair were barred from the campus for 10 years, but this was reduced to 12 months after they appealed.

One of the women targeted had said she felt "terrified at the prospect of having these boys in my seminars".

Warwick now says the men have confirmed they will not return in September.

Last week, students reacted angrily to the news that their bans had been cut, using the hashtag #ShameOnYouWarwick on Twitter.

'Public outcry'

In an update published on the university's website on Monday afternoon, Vice Chancellor Stuart Croft said: "We are committed to ensuring the safety of our community.

"I have today spoken to the two young men concerned and confirm that neither of them will be returning to the university.

"I am continuing to listen to the views of students, staff and all members of our community here at Warwick and support them so that we can learn from this experience."

The update came as one Warwick professor told student newspaper The Boar it would be "completely untenable" for them to resume their studies.

Responding to the news of the men not returning, one of the women targeted in the Facebook group chat said: "We still do not know how the men's leaving came about.

"It could simply be that they have decided not to come back amidst public outcry."

Their decision to stay away is "not a victory for the university," she continued, adding: "A victory will be a complete re-examination of the disciplinary processes which allowed this failure to happen."

The chat was first reported last summer by The Boar.

Several of those involved encouraged others to rape specific students, while one of the messages said: "Sometimes it's fun to just go wild and rape 100 girls."

Another said: "Rape the whole flat to teach them all [a] lesson."

Another post included a racially offensive term and anti-Semitic language.

At one point, a user wrote: "Rape her in the street while everybody watches," with another responding it "wouldn't even be unfair".

Image source, The Boar
Image caption,
Student newspapers obtained the screenshots after complaints were made to the university

After a disciplinary investigation by the university, five students were suspended.

Two were banned for 10 years, two were excluded for one year, and one was given a lifetime campus ban.

Media caption,
A woman discussed in a group chat by Warwick university students says she's terrified two of them will be back

In an earlier statement, Prof Christine Ennew, a member of the executive team at Warwick, said the university was clear the behaviour was "abhorrent and unacceptable" and it was sorry the decision to reduce the length of the ban had "upset so many members of our own community and beyond".

She said privacy issues meant they were unable to comment on specific details.

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