EXCLUSIVE: Images of sexual misconduct uncovered on secret Macquarie University Village Facebook page


Words || Maia Bilyk, Mshari Alsayyari, Tarun Freestone & Taylor Cohen

Closed social media group, ‘Village Party Central 2016’ had over 900 members who contributed, followed and participated in ‘frat culture’ on campus.

Images of individuals participating in sexual misconduct were uploaded with the status ‘NTV’ or Name That Villager. Members would then comment on the posts in an attempt to either identify or harass the individuals in the photographs. Some videos contained footage of students participating in sexual acts, public urination and nudity.

Image of naked man on floor. Photograph: “Village Party Central 2016” Facebook page.

A comment by one member under a photo of two females engaging in sexual activity wrote ‘she’s tall and frothy alright’.

Psychologist from campus wellbeing Benjamin L. Wilkes said, ‘Whenever someone feels targeted, especially in a negative way, they start to question their own self-identity and also their rights. This can impact on how they interact with others but more so impact on the type of environments and activities they expose themselves to.’

Some of the images contain photos of individuals who are not group members and therefore unaware that such content exists.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.54.16 am
The header of the page was a collage of photos of students ‘hooking up’. Image has been ‘cartooned’ to obscure identities.

There are images and comments that have been reported and have consequently been removed by Facebook administration signalling that there are individuals who feel that they are being harassed, and their privacy has been violated.

Issues and Media Manager from Macquarie University Anna Garcia-Loyola said, ‘We are rigorously investigating the matter in accordance with University policies and procedures. We remain committed to providing our students and staff with a safe study and work environment underpinned by values of dignity, respect and inclusion free from all forms of harassment.’

When the Macquarie University Village was contacted to make a comment on the Facebook page, the name was changed from ‘Village Party Central 2016’ to  ‘Party Central 2016’, which was shortly deleted thereafter.

Screenshot from ‘Village Party Central 2016’ Facebook page.

The Macquarie University Village is heavily involved in hosting events as a way to attract students to the accommodation, however, it is believed that it has contributed to a sexual harassment and bullying culture at Macquarie University.

There has been an alarming amount of sexual abuse and sexism uncovered in universities around Australia in the last few months indicating the need to address the issue now.

A Macquarie University Village resident Sara Motawi said, ‘I’ve seen some friends holding back and shying from certain parties because they wouldn’t want to be exposed in that way. It’s pretty humiliating, especially for new students.’

If you are a victim, have been affected or know someone who has been affected by sexual abuse, sexual harassment and or bullying, please contact Beyond Blue on 9810 6100, Life Line on 13 11 14 or if you are a student contact Macquarie University Campus Wellbeing 02 9850 7497.

  • Rational Human

    Closed group? Sounds like you’re the ones sexually harassing students here Grapeshot by publicising photos shared in a private space… Also assuming lack of consent regarding these photos: where’s your proof? Seems like a hell of a lot of sensationalism and rampant slut-shaming to me, not that I expect much more from students attempting to make a career out of invading privacy and ruining lives under the guise of “journalism”. As for the student who avoids certain parties, that is generally the case in an environment of various differing friend groups, I’m sure most people don’t rock up to gatherings of people they don’t know/agree with and expect to be treated like a queen. Just a thought.

  • Actual Insider

    I call bullshit Gapeshot, everyone pictured in those NTVs would tag themselves in the comments, girls and boys alike. NTVs would only feature those who were members of VPC, who, so since the group was closed, had to ask a member to add them in, usually specifically because they wanted to be included in NTV. The reported photos were likely reported by people like said “whistleblower”, who consented to join this private group, just like everyone else, and then proceeded to take their right to privacy from them through deception. Someone should be reporting them to the abuse lines provided for bullying, slut shaming! kink-shaming and slander, not this group of consenting friends, who were quietly enjoying the sexual freedoms of a first-world country in a private, supportive space.

  • Ben

    hmmm is there a student looking to start a career after Grapeshot? Have they by any chance taken something completely out of context and sensationalised to grab headlines, and get picked up by sites like unilad? There must be a wonderful position awaiting you at tabloid rags like the daily fail now, after such a stellar piece of journalism, that investigates both sides of the issue in such depth and goes to great pains to establish the facts, interview multiple people on both sides, and provide evidence that has not been in any way carefully-selected or twisted to fit the argument. Such integrity! This article and everyone involved is a joke. Go do something productive with your time, like research how outsiders can misunderstand and misrepresent a friend group they’re not included in, and in the process make public a series of privately shared photos (reminiscent of the celebrity nude leaks that most “real” journalism was outraged by). Aren’t you doing the very thing that you’re criticising here?