Published on November 12, 2013 | by Ruby Sigurdardóttir

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Student cricketers banned over ‘rape’ T-shirt

Anti-rape protest poster

The ‘casual rape’ T-shirt led to a ban for Aberyswyth’s student cricketers [Flickr: Richard Potts]

Aberystwyth University cricket team have had their funding withdrawn and received a ban from playing after one of their members was seen on a night out wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with ‘casual rape’.

The incident was investigated by the university’s student union, AberSU, and was found to be in breach of the union’s “zero tolerance of sexual harassment” policy.

Liv Prewett, AberSU’s Activities Officer, said that the student union would not tolerate sexual harassment.

“All affiliated sports clubs and societies should understand the severity of this case and any further incidents of the kind will be dealt with in the same manner,” she said. “I am deeply disappointed and have openly expressed my disgust.”

Expression

Tamara Craiu, a third year photojournalism student at LCC, told ALN: “I think the university’s punishment was fair. To do otherwise would only encourage others to make light of rape.

“People letting guys off the hook for this kind of activity only shows them that it’s not ‘that bad’, when it is quite the opposite. This is precisely why guys should be taught at an early age not to rape and that rape is a serious offence, so that they know later in life not to make jokes like this.”

Brooke Purvis, a second year BA fine art student at CSM, said that while he doesn’t condone sexual harassment, he believes it’s still important to advocate freedom of expression: “We live in a society now where it’s all too easy to offend someone. My concern isn’t so much with the slogan worn by the shirt wearer, but more of how the shirt wearer came to acquire his nickname.”

The incident comes after Leeds-based events company Tequila UK came under fire for releasing a video called ‘Freshers Violation’ to promote student club night. In the video, a presenter walks around Mezz nightclub, where the event is held, and asks male partygoers: “How are you going to violate a fresher tonight?”

Heavy campaigning by outraged students has since led Tequila UK to remove the video and issue a public apology.

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