Sunday 21 April 2019

Students upset by ‘horrific’ questions about rape and torture in law exam

Cambridge University
Cambridge University

Ben Kendall

STUDENTS sitting a law exam were confronted with a graphic depiction of oral sex, male rape and naked torture.

In a paper sat by more than 200 students at the University of Cambridge on Saturday, undergraduates were presented with a scenario involving a fictional college drinking society's initiation ceremony.

The question in the three-hour exam at the university's Faculty of Law began: "Sandra is President of The Vizards, a College drinking society. She is organising the initiation of new members.

"After a great deal of alcohol has been drunk, the members of the society form a circle around Billy, Gilbert and Richard who are to be initiated."

The question then described three rituals in which a male student was blindfolded and given oral sex by another man, another was sexually assaulted with a bottle and a third had his pubic hair shaved off before dying from a subsequent infection.

The students were asked to outline any offences which may have been committed.

After the exam students took to social networking sites with one describing it as "horrific" and "beyond acceptable" but another saying "nobody batted an eyelid".

A University of Cambridge spokesman confirmed the incident, saying: "In the Part One Criminal Law examination paper set by the University of Cambridge Law Faculty, hypothetical situations are presented in order to test students' understanding of different aspects of Criminal Law."

Sebastian Salek, a final-year law student at Cambridge, highlighted the question on his blog.

He said: "The reaction in the exam room was pretty non-existent because of the stressful atmosphere, but outside I think there was a mixture of feelings.

"Some found it funny that a drinking society initiation was mentioned in a question as the university tends to turn a blind eye to activities like that. Others were quite shocked."

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