Fresher in ‘sleep with the poorest girl’ group chat has Durham offer withdrawn

Several other students’ messages were looked into, and investigations are continuing

A male student has had their offer to study at Durham withdrawn, as a result of investigations into screenshots leaked from a freshers’ group chat two weeks ago.

After the original messages were revealed to discuss a competition in which participants seek to sleep with the “poorest fresher”, Durham University confirmed that an investigation had been launched. Group chat messages also included misogynistic comments and comments about the death of George Floyd.

Today in a statement, Jeremy Cook, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) at Durham University, said: “Recently Durham University was made aware of some utterly abhorrent comments on social media purported to have been posted by Durham students.

“As we said at the time, we condemn the content and behaviour demonstrated in these social media posts, which is entirely unacceptable and violates the values and behaviours that we uphold as a University community.

“We immediately instigated an urgent investigation by our Student Conduct Office. This was led by a member of the University community who is an experienced lawyer and supported by another who is a former police officer. A full and proper investigation was conducted.”

The statement goes on to confirm that one student was suspended as a result of his messages on social media, but that two other students involved in the investigation were found not to have fallen short of Durham’s values.

Cook, Durham’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor, said: “As a result of this investigation, which was conducted under the University’s Admissions Policy, one male who was due to begin studying at Durham University next month has, in accordance with the terms of their offer, had their offer withdrawn. This was due to his behaviour falling short of the values we uphold, as reflected in our regulations.

“Two other males were not found to have fallen short of the values we uphold and will begin studying at Durham University next month.”

He also said a number of messages included in the investigation were not able to be conclusively connected with Durham students in any way. The statement adds: “Several other individuals were investigated, but were found to have no identifiable association with Durham University and are therefore not subject to University values within our regulations.”

The investigation also found that a number of members of group chats intended for Durham freshers were not in fact incoming students, but people using pseudonyms. Many of these people were found by the university to have tried to initiate conversation with students in order to sell them tickets to events which did not exist. Durham University have confirmed that these profiles have been reported to the police.

On further action, the statement concludes: “We are continuing to investigate other indirectly related comments that have been brought to our attention. If other comments of an abhorrent nature such as those we have investigated are found to be genuine and attributable, we will take further swift action to ensure that those involved have no place at Durham University.”

As a result of the original group chat messages, a number of freshers told The Tab they had been put off coming to Durham, with one fresher actively trying to move to St Andrews University instead.

Durham University’s statement on the investigation into the group chats can be found in full here.

Do you have any more information about these group chats or others? Email [email protected] in confidence. 

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