“Georgie” … actually a third year student.A senior student of St John’s College misrepresented herself in an interview on ABC TV as part of a plan hatched by the college’s house committee to fight allegations of unruly and unacceptable behaviour.
Following Fairfax Media reports that the 150-year-old University of Sydney college had descended into anarchy, with widespread vandalism, furniture being set on fire and first-year students forced into initiation rituals, last night ABC TV’s Lateline featured an interview with a student, “Georgie”, who claimed to be a fresher – university slang for a first year student – at the college.
“It’s definitely not what it’s like inside those walls,” Georgie told Lateline.
“I’m a fresher there and, like, I’ve never been intimidated or forced into drinking anything as they say. Like, all the rituals have been ruled out and all that kind of stuff. Like, the leaders of this college, like, they always sit us down, they’re like ‘you’re never forced into anything and all that kinda stuff.’’
But inquiries by this website this morning revealed that supposedly first-year student ‘‘Georgie’’ is Georgie Carter – a third year, graduating senior in Bachelor of Exercise Sports Science.
Ms Carter is a member of the St John’s 2012 house committee. The nine-member house committee looks over much of the day-to-day activities inside the college.
It is understood it was decided among the senior students at the college that she would front the cameras, pretending to be a “fresher” to give the impression there was nothing wrong inside St John’s.
Comment was being sought from Lateline, and attempts are being made to contact Ms Carter.
The vice-chancellor for the University of Sydney, Michael Spence, last night told ABC’s 7.30 that the problems inside St John’s College were damaging to the university, however he had no control over the Catholic residence.
‘‘I have five children,’’ he told 7.30. ‘‘If I was reading these newspaper reports I would have serious questions about sending my children to a college at the University of Sydney at the moment.
‘‘That’s something that concerns me … because I know that these are also remarkable communities that take pastoral care very seriously with high-achieving students and that this is only a very small part of the story.
‘‘But there has undoubtedly been reputational damage for the collegiate system at the university.’’
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