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March 6, 2006 | by  | in News |
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“All tied up, on the floor, this is not what I signed up for” Wannabe punk band accused of sexual harassment

Official complaints have been laid with VUWSA after several female students exposed their breasts at the Combined Halls Beach Party the week before last.

An eye witness claims two first year girls were invited on stage during 48 May’s set for a chance to win tickets to other Orientation events. Although the original intention was for the tickets to be given away in a drinking competition, the girls flashed in response to the crowd cheering “we want boobs”. It is also reported that girls were asked to “hook up” in exchange for prizes.

One complainant wrote she felt upset and demeaned by 48 May’s actions in ‘coercing’ the girls to expose themselves. Another says the actions of the band “crossed the line of acceptable and appropriate behaviour”.

VUWSA Woman’s Rights Officer Caroline Prendergast labeled the band’s actions as “entirely inappropriate”, adding that “not only does it objectify women, but it degrades human sexuality”.

She argues the girls were “completely coerced” and that the band’s actions were a “form of sexual assault”. Because the band failed to ascertain that the whole audience was over the age of eighteen, she says, their actions were illegal. VUWSA was taking appropriate action, including sending the band a letter. However, at the time of publication, the content of the letter has yet to be agreed upon.

Campus Activities Coordinator, Dusty McLoughlin, says procedures have now been put in place to prevent, as far as possible, similar occurrences from happening at future special events like the Combined Halls party. However, he added that “nearly everybody had a good time”.

Neither the girls nor the band were able to be reached by Salient last week.

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About the Author ()

Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

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