Editorial: Sparknotes of the Knox Story

Editorial: Sparknotes of the Knox Story

This week Critic’s news section is a little different. Instead of our normal news stories we’ve got a seven-page investigation into the culture of Knox College, a story that Critic has been working on for the past month.

There are so many elements to this story, and there were even more that we couldn’t or chose not to include.

 

Here’re some takeaways of the story:

  • There have been cases of people reporting sexual harassment and assault at Knox, reports that have been dismissed by the college leadership.
  • The college’s policy for dealing with sexual assault is at odds with the University’s.
  • The Master of Knox says that the “Animals” initiations do not involve nudity, but Critic has video of Knox students stripping in front of a crowd chanting, “take it off”.
  • Knox gives out awards for the students who have the most sex, which the Master confirmed he knows about.
  • Women couldn’t play billiards at Knox until 2015.
  • In 2011 there were two independent reviews into Knox’s culture, which both “expressed serious concerns about student wellbeing and safety”. Most of the incidents people reported to us were in 2016 and 2017, a long time after the college was told it had a problem.
  • Some people who went to Knox felt seriously unsafe there, even in their own rooms.
  • A lot of people are afraid they’ll get attacked if they come out publicly against Knox. Even some people who said positive things about the college wanted anonymity so ex-residents wouldn’t target them. Critic observed the same thing with Selwyn College last year. Being afraid of your own peers for speaking out is very not good.
This article first appeared in Issue 4, 2019.
Posted 12:36am Friday 15th March 2019 by Charlie OíMannin.