RTC’s Timeline of the Warwick Group Chat

TW - Some of the articles linked contain the screenshots from the chat - mention of rape, FGM, racism, ableism, misogyny

#Shameonyouwarwick. Remember that? Remember hearing about a certain group chat? Maybe? In that case, here’s a basic summary.

Disclaimer: I am a student who studied at Warwick at the time. Some of the events mentioned in this article are what I witnessed first-hand. I have tried to piece everything together as accurately as I can, but there may be things that I’ve accidentally overlooked. If there’s anything you feel is missing or in need of correction, email me: reclaimthecampus2020@gmail.com

In 2018, there were misogynistic, rape, FGM, racist and ableist comments in a private Warwick ‘lads’ group chat.The chat was discovered after one of the boys showed it to a girl they had discussed, and she took screenshots. The chat was then reported to the University. Warwick inflicted different punishments on the perpetrators, but there are ongoing concerns about the suitability of these sanctions. In 2020, the girls discussed in the chat haven’t (to my knowledge) received a proper apology from the University over its handling of the case, and one boy has possibly returned to campus.

April 2018:

11.05.2018:

11.06.2018 - Disciplinary hearing:

  • The University found that the students had breached its ‘Dignity at Warwick’ policy.

  • Punishments for the perpetrators were revealed.

  • Three students left or were required to leave (unclear who made that decision), one received a lifetime campus ban, two were banned for ten years, and two were required to withdraw for a year, and pay fines. One student had been part of the chat, but no evidence was found against him, so he was able to go on his Year Abroad as planned.

  • Two students had been exonerated at an earlier stage.

At the start of the 2018/2019 academic year, several of the perpetrators returned to campus. Only three were supposed to return, but six did. One boy was seen moving into housing managed by Warwick Accommodation.

25.01.2019:

#Shameonyouwarwick helped to draw national and media attention to the issue.

04.02.2019:

06.02.2019:

“In February 2019, the university admitted "the potential for conflict" between Mr Dunn's two roles, but insisted relevant press duties were "delegated" during the investigation. However, in one email seen by the BBC, Mr Dunn told the women he was planning to release a statement to the media about their case during the investigation, and asked for their feedback.”

May 2019:

10.07.2019:

  • The university announced a five point action plan - review of its disciplinary procedures had been conducted by Dr Sharon Persaud.

  • Key findings - commitment to transparency (regular updates), that future investigations would be conducted by specialists, and an overall of the uni’s disciplinary procedures within 18 months.

14.07.2019:

  • In an interview with The Guardian, one of the victims revealed that she sat one of her final year exams next one of the perpetrators, and that the invigilator left the room several times during the exam.

  • She also stated that the university is not a safe place for women and ethnic minorities, that she and another woman were suing the university.

  • In December 2018 Vice-Chancellor Stuart Croft blocked further internal investigation of her complaint.

  • She revealed that Peter Dunn asked her to reveal intimate details about her relationship to the perpetrators, causing her emotional distress.

01.10.2019:

  • It was revealed that victims had not been told that two perpetrators who had received one year bans would not be returning to campus that academic year.

  • Warwick alleged that until July 2019, it had given the victims progress updates and offered wellbeing support.

  • It alleged that it would appoint Student Liaison Officers, and that it would continue to work with its students and staff.

  • It also alleged that it was satisfied that the perpetrators who had received “minor disciplinary sanctions” “have met the necessary requirements ahead of returning”.

  • One of the girls said there had been “radio silence” from the university, and that she has not been personally contacted by anyone high up in the uni, or “had any personal apology”.

  • The university alleged that “sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind is completely unacceptable”.

09.10.2019:

10.11.2019:

Autumn 2020 - One group chat boy possibly returns to campus for his final year of study.

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