A ROW has erupted at a Russian university over claims new history students were threatened with violence unless they stripped off for an initiation, according to reports Most participants are shown smiling in a picture of the event, which led to freshmen of both sexes being fully or mostly naked.
But the head of the history faculty at Kemerovo State University, Konstantin Yumatov, has now resigned over allegations that 18-year-olds were faced with “physical violence” and being smeared with excrement if they did not take part.
Initial reports claimed the ceremony was “harmless fun” with rookie students volunteering to peel off their clothes in an initiation ceremony – part of a three-day induction for the new academic year. But an anonymous female student gave a different account.
She even alleged teachers were present when the teenagers were ordered to strip by older undergraduates. We tried to refuse, but the older students began to put pressure on us,” she said, according to The Siberian Times. “At first, they just tried to persuade us. They said no-one will know about it.
“When they failed, they started to threaten us with physical violence. “There was talk that at night they will smear us with faeces, photograph everything and put out on the web. “We gave up and undressed.” Then those making the threats said they had been “joking” after unidentified university staff watched as their students undressed, she said.
But another female student said it was all part of a bonding exercise. “No one made the freshmen undress,” she said. “As part of the three-day initiation, we participated in a competition – moving between locations, collecting points. “One of the assignments was to score points for clothes.
“If you took off your jacket to T-shirt you get a certain number of points. “Most of the freshmen remained in jeans and T-shirts. “In our group, no one stood naked, all were dressed. “The guys in the picture decided to undress by themselves. “Someone took a picture of it and posted on the web. Some very mean person.”
And another female student at the Siberian university defended the spectacle. Svetlana L said: “A strip contest was part of the game, the essence of which was to score as many points as possible. “Each person undressed as much as he or she liked.
“Some of the guys were wearing jackets. “The game lasted no longer than five minutes. “The claim that undergraduates promised to smear freshmen with faeces is not true. “I was shocked to hear this. The undergraduates are great guys. “The initiation was cool and what is now made of all this is just outright slander.”
Reports in Russia suggested some students had been expelled from their new university, but this was denied. Head of the history faculty Yumatov took the blame for the behaviour of his students and quit.