She was named

No big deal then?

Women discussed as rape targets by a group of male students at the University of Warwick say they are terrified of seeing the men return to campus after the university reduced the length of their suspension.

Last year five men were barred or suspended by the university over their membership of a long-running group chat that discussed rape and sexual assault of women, including individual students, as well as racism, antisemitism and homophobia.

After a decision from the university’s disciplinary proceedings in June, two of the men were banned from the Warwick campus for 10 years. But it has emerged that, after an appeal, the two will be able to return to the campus from September.

The BBC has details:

Megan is a history and politics student at the University of Warwick. She was named in a Facebook chat where rape threats were made against specific women at the uni.

Two students were originally banned for 10 years over that group chat – but their ban has been reduced after they appealed and they will now be allowed to return later this year.

Warwick University has called their actions abhorrent and unacceptable, but Megan’s told Radio 1 Newsbeat she feels too anxious to be at the uni this week.

It’s not clear what the BBC means by that “but” – the fact that the actions are abhorrent and unacceptable is surely why Megan feels too anxious to be at the uni this week. The actions are abhorrent and unacceptable, and naturally Megan feels too anxious to be at the uni this week.

The trauma of being named in the Facebook group has already had an impact on Megan’s studies when it was first revealed in 2018.

“It really affected my university experience last year,” she says.

“I didn’t go to a lot of lectures or seminars in my final time at university which really affected my degree because that was exam season.”

Warwick University gave this statement to Newsbeat: “The behaviour shown by the individuals concerned goes against all of our values as a community. We are sorry that the decision as a result of our processes has upset so many members of our own community and beyond.” But it adds that the appeal was over the length of the ban, not the severity of the offence.

But the ban should be at least long enough to keep the rape-talkers away until the students they threatened with rape have finished their time at Warwick. What about that aspect?

Megan feels that Warwick’s History department has been supportive, but overall feels like she’s been let down by her university.

“I feel that the university overall has failed,” she says.

“I don’t think anyone higher up in the institution has got back to us. I think it’s appalling, I think they haven’t really looked after girls at the university and the people mentioned in particular.”

Katie Tarrant agrees – she edits the student newspaper The Boar, who originally broke the story.

“It’s very upsetting to see the atmosphere on campus right now,” Katie told Newsbeat. “What upsets me is when people say that it’s banter. Regardless of whether you think this information is private so it shouldn’t have been put out, what they have said, a lot of the stuff is abhorrent.”

Sure, threatening women with rape is just bantz, just jokes, just boys will be boys. If the women don’t like it they can leave, right?

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