The Templars are a Selwyn based drinking societyFlickr: KAET44

Messages between members of a Selwyn drinking society have emerged in which they rate female students they have slept with and encourage other members to “get some taste” with references to women. Varsity can exclusively reveal details of sexist conversations held by members on the closed Facebook group of the second year Selwyn drinking society, the Templars. To protect the identities of the female students involved, any identifying information has been removed or changed.

In one exchange, members rate female students based on their sexual experience with them, describing various women as “effervescent”, “cavernous”, “benign”, “sensual”, “kinky”, “heinous” and “naughty”. One member commented saying he was “really upset by this”; “if you want to run a society with bullying and nasty comments then go do it elsewhere,” he wrote, before adding, “to improve on my comment though, I’ll go for Loose [name]”.

Facebook messages from The Templars Facebook group

A longer message details how two members encountered a “seemingly quite distressed”, “crying” female student wandering around Selwyn whom they “rounded up” in an attempt to help her into a taxi home. The members then described how they “firmly put her in her somewhat embarrassing place” before advising whoever had brought the student back to college needed to “improve [their] taste”.

In another exchange, members discuss a traffic lights party as a “sexual consent nightmare”. One dismissed the debate by saying that Templars had “a lot more sense, experience and respect” than to interpret a woman wearing green as an “invitation to fuck”, whilst another commented that “it’s not about consent, it’s about intent”.

In addition to this, there was also discussion of a photograph of a female student sat outside with three take-away trays, which was uploaded by a member. Comments included “she’s a classy girl”, and “did she forget her pants again?”

A traffic light party is described as a sexual consent nightmare"

Responding to the comments, a spokesperson from Selwyn College said: “The College condemns any sexist and inappropriate comments made online. We will investigate this matter, and will take disciplinary action if required.”

On Thursday 27th November, the Dean and Senior Tutor of Selwyn sent an email in relation to the comments to all undergraduates. They noted that “[w]e are very disappointed to find that those participating in this forum think it is even remotely acceptable to express such views” and that “[w]hile we appreciate that this forum was intended for private communication, the reality is that on the internet there is no such thing as privacy.”

The Templars themselves and the Female Welfare Officer for Selwyn College, Nadia Ayed, did not reply to requests for comment from Varsity.

The revelations are the latest evidence of misogyny within University of Cambridge drinking societies after the Churchill Bulldogs were cautioned for their so-called ‘sinister swap’, in which female freshers were subjected to a bra-unhooking competition.

The Emmanuel Lions were also disbanded earlier this term after an email was leaked to the Tab. The email noted that the list of organized swaps were liable to change as “more may be added subject to demand (i.e. female demand for Emmanuel penis)”, and encouraged members to “get involved, get keen and smash it (/the girls).”

Homertonians also received an email from the Dean and Senior Tutor, deploring “reports of unacceptably bad behaviour by groups of young men.” The email described this behaviour as “consisting of... boasting and sniggering about sexual encounters, and the sharing of photos on mobile phones, to the humiliation of female members of the college.” Members of Homerton College were encouraged to report any such behaviour to the Porters, the Senior Tutor or the Dean of the college, as “everyone deserves to be treated with respect and consideration.”

Comment: Sex-free swaps: the way forward

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