Shocking revelations about pub crawl involving students at uOttawa
Some shocking revelations tonight about a pub crawl involving students at the University of Ottawa.
The university is condemning the behavior that involved nude sex acts; all part of a team event to win a game.
The Vet's Tour, as it's called, was organized by the Science Students' Association and took place at three bars October 7th.
This story only came to light because of a student who works on the school newspaper and went undercover as the “naked pub crawl”, as it’s euphemistically called, made its way through the Byward Market earlier this month.
What she saw disgusted her and outraged others.
Yasmine Mehdi is the editor of La Rotonde newspaper at the University of Ottawa. She went undercover October 7th to an event organized by the Science Students Association called “The Vet's Tour”, after a tip that strange things were happening. The tip came on the heels of a similar event at the Université de Québec in Outaouais last month.
“It's an invite only event,” Mehdi said, “people told me it's very underground.”
What she witnessed shocked her.
“Naked people everywhere, lots of drinking, lots of making out. One girl lying on the ground with no clothes or little clothes and people doing shots off her,” she recalls, “two naked people wrapped in plastic wrap.”
Medhi says the event has been going on for years; Facebook photos from 2007 show students in various stages of undress, taking part in various activities.
She says this time about 100 students took part in teams of 10, trying to garner as many points off a secret list of dares.
“One of the things I heard in the bathroom was a girl saying “I'm not sure I like this” and one of her team mates encouraging her to have sex with one of the judges because it gives you more points and then the girl said, “I don’t know, this is too slutty for me,” and her friend suggesting she just have anal sex then. It was kind of shocking.”
Medhi says this pub crawl wound through three bars in the Byward market. We went into one of the bars, the Red Lion, which confirmed that the students association had requested a private space, with a curtain, and even a way to block out the windows.
“It's the sort of thing that tarnishes the school's reputation,” says one uOttawa student.
The university has already been dealing with a couple of issues, including sex assault charges against two members of its hockey team. After the fallout from that, the university established a Task Force on Respect and Equality, of which Kelly Gordon is a member.
“For a lot of us involved with issue of sexual violence at uOttawa over the last couple years,” says Gordon, “it's really shocking and disappointing to see students involved in this kind of activity.”
On its website, the University said it "strongly condemns a recent event at which some students were encouraged to behave disgracefully."
No one from the Science Students’ Association returned our call but on-line, said it has decided to cancel the Vet's Tour going forward.
"The event was ill-conceived, wrong and not an accurate reflection of the Association's beliefs."
Michael Orsini is a political studies professor at uOttawa and a member of the Task Force on Respect and Equality, “If we take seriously that there is something called a rape culture, we have to know that cultures don't change overnight. We have to work harder to achieve this.”
Yasmine Mehdi says we need to do more than that; she wants an investigation and an outcome.
“If nothing is done concretely,” Mehdi says, “I don't know how such events will stop in the future.”
Mehdi says that "list" by the way of those dares is very secretive. No one knows until they show up what's on it. It's then destroyed at the end of the evening.