Here’s another case of jumping on the bandwagon!

Riding on the coat-tails of the #metoo movement and the scandalous Russell McVeagh allegations, comes an attack on Otago University law school with a tired narrative.

I’m talking about the second-year law camp: a highlight of law school and something that those hopeful first years look forward to if they make it into second year.

The University of Otago is under scrutiny amid claims of jelly wrestling and naked drinking games at boozy camps for student lawyers — attended by at least one senior staff member.

The camp for second year students has been held for the last 10 years and this year’s event is due to take place next weekend.

But student organisers have vowed to clampown on drunkenness and ban “full nudity” — as the university probes a complaint about inappropriate behaviour.

One student told the Herald on Sunday she attended the camp in 2012 and said it rapidly descended into “an American fraternity house, or what you see in those American movies.”

The 25-year-old said she soon discovered it was, in her opinion, a weekend designed to get the students drunk and to take part in “bizarre” activities. Some were fun, but others were uncomfortable, she said.

Being a recent Otago law graduate I can’t believe the allegations of widespread nudity and general debauchery have garnered the attention they have. For many, this is day-to-day uni life.

Law camp, like all of the social functions run by SOULS (a student led organisation), is completely voluntary. No one is forced to attend, and those who do, do so with the knowledge that it is a weekend filled alcohol and antics to bond with your fellow legally minded comrades.

Much has been made of girls being forced into jelly wrestling but, in reality, this was not an activity that lacked volunteers.

With law camp cancelled, the latest intake of budding young lawyers will have to find another way to entertain themselves – something they have had no trouble doing in the past.


-Name withheld by request

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A guest post submitted to Whaleoil and edited by Whaleoil staff.

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