University of Warwick suspends 11 students over rape jokes Watch

Poll: Opinion on Warwick Rape Joke Students
Free speech and you should be allowed to have any opinion. (80)
17.78%
Just a joke and taking too seriously. (77)
17.11%
It was private and their business (75)
16.67%
They should have mediation and sort it out between themselves. (35)
7.78%
Officers and the ones making jokes about known students should be expelled. (84)
18.67%
The university should consider damage to its reputation and expell. (99)
22%
username2763536
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#21
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#21
(Original post by AngeryPenguin)
Making tasteless jokes is never acceptable. In public or in private.

If free speech means the freedom to spread hate and offense, then it is not something I can support.

What is the issue here is that it shouldn't be up to the university to police hate speech. This should be reported to the police and dealt with by them, like all other crimes.

thats exactly what it means stupid.If you're only allowed to say what everyone agrees with then its not free speech is it?Free speech is the freedom to be offensive if you want to be.Making a couple of jokes in bad taste is not a crime and its worrying that you think it should be.You're making nazi germany look like a peace loving democracy with that kind of thinking.
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Axiomasher
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Robby2312)
thats exactly what it means stupid.If you're only allowed to say what everyone agrees with then its not free speech is it?Free speech is the freedom to be offensive if you want to be.Making a couple of jokes in bad taste is not a crime and its worrying that you think it should be.You're making nazi germany look like a peace loving democracy with that kind of thinking.
But once you agree to enrol with a university you are during that time subject to its rules and regulations and if you do something that brings it into disrepute you are accountable. If your free-speech matters to you enough don't subject yourself to institutional conditions by going to a university.
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999tigger
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Robby2312)
thats exactly what it means stupid.If you're only allowed to say what everyone agrees with then its not free speech is it?Free speech is the freedom to be offensive if you want to be.Making a couple of jokes in bad taste is not a crime and its worrying that you think it should be.You're making nazi germany look like a peace loving democracy with that kind of thinking.
Isn't this a bit more than a couple of jokes? If it was then I doubt a complaint would have been made.

Isnt free speech just what you are allowed to say within the code of the university and that you shouldnt have joined if you cant stick to that?

Wouldnt the uni have a right to protect its reputation and its values?
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AngeryPenguin
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#24
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#24
(Original post by Robby2312)
thats exactly what it means stupid.If you're only allowed to say what everyone agrees with then its not free speech is it?Free speech is the freedom to be offensive if you want to be.Making a couple of jokes in bad taste is not a crime and its worrying that you think it should be.You're making nazi germany look like a peace loving democracy with that kind of thinking.
Free speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

If you say something offensive, the university should have the freedom to expel you for it.

I don't get what the big deal is about being able to say whatever to whoever you want anyway. You can still think whatever you want to, nobody can stop you thinking about even the most hateful things, why do you want feel it infringes on your freedoms if you are held to account for forcing others to hear your offensive speech?
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username2763536
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#25
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#25
(Original post by Axiomasher)
But once you agree to enrol with a university you are during that time subject to its rules and regulations and if you do something that brings it into disrepute you are accountable. If your free-speech matters to you enough don't subject yourself to institutional conditions by going to a university.
So the university has power over anything you say on whatsapp now? Its not like they shared it on facebook. This was a private whatsapp group.
And quite a jokey one at that.They shouldn't have their whole futures ruined just because of a few jokey comments.And was there even any malicious intent behind those words? If they don't actually think or feel that way about women then its fine and just a joke.If they actually mean what they say then maybe they should be punished. Doesnt seem to be the case here.For one thing if they were actual sexist people they wouldn't be stupid enough to name the group that.Clearly not meant to be taken seriously.
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username2763536
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#26
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#26
(Original post by AngeryPenguin)
Free speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

If you say something offensive, the university should have the freedom to expel you for it.

I don't get what the big deal is about being able to say whatever to whoever you want anyway. You can still think whatever you want to, nobody can stop you thinking about even the most hateful things, why do you want feel it infringes on your freedoms if you are held to account for forcing others to hear your offensive speech?

Because its one small step from one to the other.Just look at places like china or saudi arabia. Even being an atheist in that country will get you beheaded.Do we really want to go in that direction? If the government starts to restrict our speech then it won't be too long before they are accusing people of thought crime as well.If you give them one power they'll take it all.Best not to give them more power than you need to.Freedom of speech is important.And its not like these messages were public.It was a private encrypted chat.
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Axiomasher
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#27
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#27
(Original post by Robby2312)
So the university has power over anything you say on whatsapp now?...
It doesn't matter what platform you made your communications on, nor that your intentions might have been that they were offered or shared in strict confidence. Once your communications have become public, no matter how that happened, if they are deemed to bring the university into disrepute by association then you will be held accountable. Joining a university is not like joining a 'gang' of mates, it has responsibilities. If you put your freedom of expression above the implications of joining a university then don't join a university, they would all take the same stance.
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999tigger
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#28
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#28
(Original post by Robby2312)
Because its one small step from one to the other.Just look at places like china or saudi arabia. Even being an atheist in that country will get you beheaded.Do we really want to go in that direction? If the government starts to restrict our speech then it won't be too long before they are accusing people of thought crime as well.If you give them one power they'll take it all.Best not to give them more power than you need to.Freedom of speech is important.And its not like these messages were public.It was a private encrypted chat.
Shouldnt the students have to comply with the unis code of conduct and values?

The problem is they have been caught and damaged the reputation of the uni?

Shouldnt the uni be able to hold them to account over that?
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Joleee
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#29
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#29
(Original post by Axiomasher)
It doesn't matter what platform you made your communications on, nor that your intentions might have been that they were offered or shared in strict confidence. Once your communications have become public, no matter how that happened, if they are deemed to bring the university into disrepute by association then you will be held accountable. Joining a university is not like joining a 'gang' of mates, it has responsibilities. If you put your freedom of expression above the implications of joining a university then don't join a university, they would all take the same stance.
yup yup, agreed.

and i just want to point out, as others already have, that there were 3 formal complaints; 98 screen shots. clearly this was not just a chat amongst friends. friends who know everyone's joking don't rat each other out.

fyi, harassment is an objective standard, by law. it doesn't care if you were 'joking', otherwise all harassers would use 'just joking' as their excuse.
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username2763536
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#30
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#30
(Original post by 999tigger)
Shouldnt the students have to comply with the unis code of conduct and values?

The problem is they have been caught and damaged the reputation of the uni?

Shouldnt the uni be able to hold them to account over that?

Does the uni have a code against jokes? Clearly jokes in bad taste but still jokes.One of the people is called captainfartsalot for goodness sake.What matters is the intent behind the comments.Clearly sarcasm doesn't come across well on the internet so it looks really bad.But easily those comments could have been made intending to be sarcastic.

Clearly the chat was not meant in seriousness.Whether it affects the unis reputation shouldn't really have any effect on their punishment tbh. The public shouldn't get a say in what is clearly an internal matter for the uni.I'm not saying they shouldn't be punished at all but expulsion is massively over the top and vastly disproportionate to the alleged offence if there even is an offence being committed here.If it was a workplace maybe it would be different but I don't think we should hold a bunch of drunken teenagers to the same standards as professional employees with lots of life experience.
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999tigger
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#31
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#31
(Original post by Robby2312)
Does the uni have a code against jokes? Clearly jokes in bad taste but still jokes.One of the people is called captainfartsalot for goodness sake.What matters is the intent behind the comments.Clearly sarcasm doesn't come across well on the internet so it looks really bad.But easily those comments could have been made intending to be sarcastic.

Clearly the chat was not meant in seriousness.Whether it affects the unis reputation shouldn't really have any effect on their punishment tbh. The public shouldn't get a say in what is clearly an internal matter for the uni.I'm not saying they shouldn't be punished at all but expulsion is massively over the top and vastly disproportionate to the alleged offence if there even is an offence being committed here.If it was a workplace maybe it would be different but I don't think we should hold a bunch of drunken teenagers to the same standards as professional employees with lots of life experience.
It doesnt need one. It will have codes on equality and not bringing the university into disrepute. Out of the 100 or so comments then I expect the investigators will treat some a lot more seriously than others.

Disagree about whether it affects the university, shouldnt have consequences.

Hard to tell as I have only seen the evidence in the reports, but I suspect those joking about raping other students and those who held official positions and were representatives for the anti rape charity should expect the firmest punishment and being expelled would not surprise me. Their carelessness and immaturity has damaged the uni.

I dont believe the public are getting a say? Who says they were drunk? did I miss that?
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Phoebee1998
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#32
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#32
(Original post by Robby2312)
Does the uni have a code against jokes? Clearly jokes in bad taste but still jokes.One of the people is called captainfartsalot for goodness sake.What matters is the intent behind the comments.Clearly sarcasm doesn't come across well on the internet so it looks really bad.But easily those comments could have been made intending to be sarcastic.

Clearly the chat was not meant in seriousness.Whether it affects the unis reputation shouldn't really have any effect on their punishment tbh. The public shouldn't get a say in what is clearly an internal matter for the uni.I'm not saying they shouldn't be punished at all but expulsion is massively over the top and vastly disproportionate to the alleged offence if there even is an offence being committed here.If it was a workplace maybe it would be different but I don't think we should hold a bunch of drunken teenagers to the same standards as professional employees with lots of life experience.
They said they wanted to rape people. That’s not a joke.
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safariii3
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#33
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#33
Good
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999tigger
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#34
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#34
(Original post by Joleee)
yup yup, agreed.

and i just want to point out, as others already have, that there were 3 formal complaints; 98 screen shots. clearly this was not just a chat amongst friends. friends who know everyone's joking don't rat each other out.

fyi, harassment is an objective standard, by law. it doesn't care if you were 'joking', otherwise all harassers would use 'just joking' as their excuse.
What was the harassment angle? I dont know about the complainers and whether it was personal.

If they were members of the flat who the people were joking about raping, then I can see how they would have a greater case.

I am not sure it amounts to harassment though if it wasnt meant to be communicated to the victim?
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blueamaraxx
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#35
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#35
Well its not a joke coz its not funny i wouldnt say kill every one of (certain religious/racial group) then say oh wait it was a joke.
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username2763536
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#36
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#36
(Original post by Phoebee1998)
They said they wanted to rape people. That’s not a joke.
"nah I'm actually fuming about this meal thing.I swear to god if its the girl in my flat I'm going to go all 1945 advancing soviet army on her and rape her in the street whilst everybody watches"

Seems like a really serious comment there.Are you really suggesting he was intending to reenact the red army's advance into berlin? I wouldn't say this was a threat. Clearly the rape was never going to be carried out nor had any intention of being carried out.If it's not a threat or a promise or in any seriousness then it clearly had the intended designation of joke.The comparison to the soviet army should make that quite evident.Its hyperbole for humorous effect.I'm sure he wouldn't have posted that if he'd known the effect his words might have on a bunch of overzealous feminists.
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#37
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#37
(Original post by blueamaraxx)
Well its not a joke coz its not funny i wouldnt say kill every one of (certain religious/racial group) then say oh wait it was a joke.
I've heard certain jokes about the holocaust or about maddie Mcann which were certainly questionable taste.It doesn't mean I actually harbour any hatred to either Jews or madeline mcann.
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JK96
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#38
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#38
(Original post by Robby2312)
Does the uni have a code against jokes? Clearly jokes in bad taste but still jokes.One of the people is called captainfartsalot for goodness sake.What matters is the intent behind the comments.Clearly sarcasm doesn't come across well on the internet so it looks really bad.But easily those comments could have been made intending to be sarcastic.

Clearly the chat was not meant in seriousness.Whether it affects the unis reputation shouldn't really have any effect on their punishment tbh. The public shouldn't get a say in what is clearly an internal matter for the uni.I'm not saying they shouldn't be punished at all but expulsion is massively over the top and vastly disproportionate to the alleged offence if there even is an offence being committed here.If it was a workplace maybe it would be different but I don't think we should hold a bunch of drunken teenagers to the same standards as professional employees with lots of life experience.
Sarcasm? You are kidding yourself mate.

What they said was incitement. There's not even an ounce of jest or comedy. Literally go and read their comments and stop living with your head in the sand. They're the kind of people who would do the acts they mention if they could get away with it easily.

The university has every right to expel them - they signed up to their terms and conditions. This whole culture of “you learn how to be a decent human being at university” is utterly foolish and we must hold these people to a higher standard. If you’re bright enough to get into these prestigious institutions, you must take responsibility for your actions and statements.
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bebsbobs
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#39
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#39
i have a dark humour so i do make similar jokes like this with my friends. However i think the issue is that they're actually talking about real people at the uni, going as far as mocking a student for (i assume) her sexual assault.

But then again i dont agree with the fact that free speech is being punished. This was said in a private conversation and i dont think should have anything to do with anyone else outside of the situation? Unless maybe one of the students in this group chat actually has been reported for sexual assault, then i could imagine the whole group being thrown under the bus just in case the university believed all of them are somehow involved.

I think i need to look into the entire case more to come to a conclusion
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blueamaraxx
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#40
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#40
(Original post by Robby2312)
I've heard certain jokes about the holocaust or about maddie Mcann which were certainly questionable taste.It doesn't mean I actually harbour any hatred to either Jews or madeline mcann.
Yeah but you wouldnt go on about it to a group of friends people should know better you really cant say anything
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