under the linoleum
tale for our times
years of bombing the Arabs
all over again
tragic inevitability of a forlorn hope
loiter near the exit
True renaissance men in a modern setting
16 November 2009
Thanks for that bit of spin, Ivan. I’ll forward it to Don Watson for his next book.
Rev’d Canon Dr Head has been doing a lot of ‘reacting’ since the outbreak of the St Paul’s College “pro-rape”, “anti-consent” Facebook page story.
In case you were vacationing in the wilds of Patagonia, the now-deleted page, in Facebook’s sports and recreation section, was set up by a group of male students, mostly from the elite, all-male St Paul’s College at the University of Sydney. The page had an open, public profile, and these jerks proudly displayed their membership on their personal Facebook pages.
Both the commander of the NSW Police sex crimes unit and the head of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre described the site as “grooming perpetrators of sexual violence”.
Former U of S students of both sexes lined up in the media to point out that the university’s men’s colleges, and St Paul’s in particular, had had, for half a century, a shocking reputation for sexual violence and extravagant, boorish, misogynistic behaviour.
St Paul’s College is an Anglican bastion of privilege that sprawls across the university grounds where you enter off City Road. Fees are around $15,000 a year and it caters for a mere 197 residents.
Most of these people went to the elite private schools and a lot of them were boarders. They come straight out of that narrow, cosseted, sectarian world and then they slide into another complacent, rich, white, male, Anglo-Celtic, environment.
The privilege is extraordinary. While the rest of the 47,000 U of S students either live at home, or rent a room wherever they can manage, and get casual work to make ends meet, these college blokes get to live right on campus in nice rooms with meals provided.
According to St Paul’s college website the Dining Hall, “a fine example of Edmund Blacket’s design genius in the neo-Gothic style”, seats 200 people. Dress for dinner Monday to Friday is jacket, tie and academic gown. “Occasionally men have commitments which make it necessary to miss Formal Dinner (e.g. late lectures or university sport), in which case late dinners can be provided”.
In light of the stories of drunken excess flooding the media, The Rev’d Canon Dr Head is probably regretting that Paul’s website states:
“The College is unique on campus in operating the fully licensed Salisbury Bar … a traditional centre for the convivialities of campus life.
No doubt, no doubt. Anyway you can always pick up some roofies or Hypnovel from that seedy lumpen up at the Marly.
And there’s a lot of conviviality. Here’s a rundown of Christian sobriety and rectitude at the Rev’d Canon Dr’s ‘secular monastery’: “… a series of outstanding social events annually. … eight black tie dinners … exchange dinners … faculty dinners … events at The Salisbury, social sporting competitions and corridor parties.
“… a Dance Party for approximately 1400 patrons …
“ … Jazz Dinner Dance is held as the finale of the Cultural Festival … traditionally comprises of [sic] a three-course dinner, a cocktail bar and a big band playing in a silk-lined marquee …
“… Mother & Sons Dinner, the Father & Sons Dinner, the Academic Dinner and the Valedictory Dinner.”
No wonder they say: “St Paul’s allows the University experience to grow beyond the purely academic routine of lectures and tutorials, and to become true renaissance men in a modern setting.” Just like the Borgias, really.
Anyway, here’s Awty and Elle for the Defence:
“This is sensationalist ... I live at College and stuff like this never happens, and trust me, if it happened everyone would know about it. I’m sure rape has happened in and around the colleges however not a[t] the level the SMH is trying to make it look like. St Pauls especially is a group of pretty level headed guys there are a few that get a little too loud at parties but we are all gentlemen. I’m sure that Facebook page was ironic and/or satirical. Oh and thanks for call us elite ;)
“I was a Sancta resident for 3 years and there was a lot of binge drinking and boys but it was very much up to the individual whether they participated or not. Boys will be boys and I do not support their disgusting behaviour, but we as women also need to take responsibility for our own actions and many college girls CHOOSE to put themselves in risky situations and then wonder why bad things happen. Living in college is a wonderful experience seaped [sic] in tradition and class, it[‘]s certain individuals that are ruining things for the rest.
Gold. From their own mouths. Some columns just write themselves.