Student loses place at Durham University following ‘utterly abhorrent’ comments on social media

A STUDENT has had his Durham University place withdrawn following an investigation into “utterly abhorrent” comments made on social media.

An inquiry was launched after it came to light that wealthy prospective freshers supposedly planned to hold a competition to have sex with the poorest student they could find.

Screenshots from various online chats, thought to involve teenagers who are due to start their studies this month, were shared on the Overheard at Durham Uni Facebook page.

One commented to the group: “Have I told you about the posh lads competing on f****** the poorest girl.”

Another wrote George Floyd, the black man who died during his arrest by white police officers in the US, “had it coming”.

Following the university’s investigation which involved a lawyer and an ex-police officer, one student has had his place at Durham withdrawn.

The police have been informed about others using pseudonyms to pose as undergraduates while trying to sell tickets to non-existent events.

Jeremy Cook, pro-vice-chancellor with responsibility for colleges and student experience, 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.”

He added: “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due to begin studying at Durham University next month has, in accordance with the terms of their offer, had their offer withdrawn.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.”

Mr Cook said two others were found not to have broken the rules and can start their studies, while others were investigated and were found not to have any association with the university.

He added: “However, our investigation also found evidence of individuals seemingly acting under pseudonyms, falsely claiming to be Durham University students and instigating social media conversations in order to fraudulently sell tickets for non-existent student events, including during Induction Week.

“We find this behaviour deeply concerning and have reported our concerns to the police.”

He said investigations were continuing into other comments.

The Northern Echo | Durham