A post on the Dunedin News Facebook page calling for the names and addresses of students involved in an alleged initiation has stirred up online vigilante action. OUSA has denounced the initiation activities - if true - and has also denounced any wannabe justice seekers.
Public backlash to the ODT’s story has been severe. Students were apparently made to bite the legs off of live ducks in a flat initiation, but OUSA said that “many of the rumours circulating haven’t been verified.” The ODT’s story hinges on one report from the mother of a boy who was allegedly initiated recently, who apparently did not take this story to the Proctor or any other university representative.
We can confirm that a flat on Castle Street did demand initiates to bring “a live duck”, amongst other items, but we can’t confirm if anyone actually brought one. The closest we’ve heard is that students were asked, but “none of them could actually catch one.”
We have a series of photos and videos detailing the initiation activities of several flats, and have interviewed multiple students who have recently completed their initiations. None could confirm rumours of an initiation involving ducks, with one calling it “complete crap”. This does not mean it didn’t happen, but students were typically zealous to describe other details.
The flat that requested students bring live ducks was not the flat that Facebook commenters had identified in their “vigilante” snooping.