SEXUAL HARASSMENT and verbal abuse during the freshmen welcoming ceremony of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts at Silpakorn University have been reported by incoming students.
The Anti-Sotus Facebook page reported that freshmen students experienced serious abuse, including graphic sexual harassment, at the welcoming ceremony for the faculty at Silpakorn University on Saturday.
Several accounts posted by freshmen who attended the ceremony described senior students giving dubious orders and committing many acts of sexual harassment and discrimination against freshmen, especially male students.
The Anti-Sotus group was formed in response to a tradition in Thai universities termed “Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity and Spirit”, which has often been associated with student hazing.
The stories from anonymous students posted on the Anti-Sotus page described hazing, including forcing male freshmen to strip naked and shower together before ordering them to simulate sexual acts. Students also claimed that senior male students had rubbed their penises against freshmen’s buttocks.
Such behaviour could be defined as sexual assault.
Another student wrote in a post that freshmen had been woken in the middle of the night and forced to take off all their clothes and lie down in positions in which the young students’ faces were aligned with each other’s buttocks.
Another freshmen wrote that she had been rebuked by a senior student, who said she had used her mother’s death as an excuse to skip the freshmen welcoming ceremony. The student wrote that her mother had recently passed away.
An online campaign on Change.org has also been created to demand that Silpakorn University investigate the issue.
The Anti-Sotus Fanpage stated that there had not been a response from senior students, teachers or the university about extreme hazing, despite allegations of abusive behaviour and sexual harassment of freshmen students at initiation ceremonies being repeated year after year.