Alcohol might get banned from intro trips at CBS

Skrevet af Kristoffer NyegaardJesper Snedker Adamsen, (versioning) - Foto: © Vitalii Turchyn | Dreamstime.com - 14. januar 2016 - 17:001 kommentar
New women students had to simulate oral sex on bananas stuck between male intro guides' legs during this year's BLC intro trip, writes Djøfbladet. This year it will be made very clear to intro guides that sexual offences are completely unacceptable.

The recent case – which started with an article in Djøfbladet - concerning allegations of planned sexist activities during an intro tour organized by intro guides from the BSc in Business, Language and Culture at CBS raises some serious questions about the prevalent drinking culture during intro programs and tours at CBS. 

“FRESH Camp. Students will be taken by bus to designated cabins, where they will spend five days with their new classmates. During the camp, the intro guides will give additional information on what the students can expect of their studies, how it is to be a BLC student and more”, writes BLC’s intro guide team to new students on e-campus.

You certainly get the impression that the intro tour is a great initiative: new students are introduced to life as university students and they get to interact socially and form new relationships.

By issuing codes of conduct and organizing preparatory seminars for intro guides, CBS Students and CBS’ senior management have gone to great lengths to ensure that students moderate their alcohol intake and treat each other with respect during the intro period. But perhaps CBS needs to completely revise the whole setup surrounding the intro period and particularly diminish the part that involves alcohol and partying.

Less boozing during the intro days, please

Decades of drinking sprees cover Danish youth culture like the morning mist. Large quantities of alcohol faithfully accompany any festive event from graduation parties in lower secondary school to intro days at universities.

But perhaps it is about time to challenge the status quo, i.e., alcohol’s constant permeation of social events at CBS and in particular the intro days, is the opinion of Associate Dean of Education Annemette Kjærgaard:

- Alcohol should not be the gateway to meeting new fellow students. Of course, people should be allowed to enjoy a glass of wine or a couple of beers in the evening as part of the process of establishing new relationships. However, the intro period should have another primary focus than boozing and partying, says Annemette Kjærgaard and continues:

- The main priority should be that everyone gets a good start socially and that everyone is properly introduced to the courses. Alcohol should merely be the third or fourth priority. Personally, I would like to see alcohol-related activities becoming the exception rather than the rule.

However, it is already stated in CBS’ code of conduct in relation to intro that intro activities must not involve “elements that presuppose intake of alcohol or encourage intake of alcohol (e.g. various drinking games)”.

Yet, ethical guidelines have failed to prevent a new young female student from having to simulate oral sex on a male intro guide during BLC’s intro trip (article in Danish).

Maybe a ban on alcoholic beverages is the next step?

Two intro guides must stay sober

As mentioned earlier, CBS’ management and CBS Students have issued a code of conduct with the intention of ensuring a good start at CBS for all new students.

- The intro guides must sign a formal document pledging that they will not push any students into activities they do not wish to participate in; that a minimum of 2 guides are sober at all times during intro trips; and, obviously, that no one does, or encourages anyone to do drugs, said former intro organizer for CBS Students, Anton Wrisberg, to CBS OBSERVER in August.

- The purpose of the code of conduct is to give intro guides elbowroom and a platform to organize the intro days, and as it were, intro guides were actually the ones that requested community guidelines, says Vice President of CBS Students (in 2015, edit.) Ida Boe.

Ban on alcohol or just a cap on allowable intake

But the intro days and trips at CBS continue to involve loads of alcoholic beverages despite all the good intentions and a formal code of conduct and, apparently, some intro guides lack the imagination to come up with activities that do not involve binge drinking.

At the University of Southern Denmark alcoholic beverages have been completely banned from intro days and trips to promote a different focus than drinking and partying.

“It is common knowledge that binge drinking has been a significant part of intro trips for years. Focus has increasingly been on social interaction and partying, much more than on introduction to academic studies and thus, our initiative is aimed at shifting focus to the latter, Vice President of the University of Southern Denmark Bjarne Graabech Sørensen was quoted saying in Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten in 2014.

Associate Dean Annemette Kjærgaard is open to the idea of implementing a similar initiative at CBS:

- It is a possibility. A total ban is not off the table, but I personally prefer that students just adhere to a moderate intake of alcoholic beverages. However, it might turn out that students and intro guides cannot control their drinking and in that case we will have to implement measures, ultimately a total ban on alcohol.

Less sexism, please

It is clearly stated in CBS’ code of conduct for intro activities that “activities containing explicit sexual elements that involve implicit sexual undertones that can offend some participants are strictly forbidden.” Noble, indeed, but the nature of some of the activities that take place during intro trips at CBS seemingly differs quite a bit from the noble intentions, i.e., specifically during this year’s edition of BLC’s intro trip, which was revealed in an article in Djøfbladet:

“Two of the guys posed, each with a banana between their legs. The bananas symbolized their penises. The girls were then to kneel down and try to get the banana as far down their throats as possible. It was a very uncomfortable situation and very sexist”, an anonymous participant is quoted saying in the article (article in Danish).

Initially, CBS will not implement a ban on alcohol, but has instead opted to confront the issues involving binge drinking and sexism by organizing seminars that are to equip intro organizers and guides with the necessary tools to organize sober and inclusive activities during intro trips.

- We are currently organizing seminars for intro organizers as well as intro guides in an attempt to prevent what happened during the debated intro trip from ever happening again. At last year’s seminars we played out a variety of scenarios to teach intro guides how to organize activities that appeal to and include both introverts and extroverts, says Ida Boe.

Obviously, Annemette Kjærgaard was not able to predict the occurrence of the banana-blowjob scandal during last year’s seminars and thus education in avoiding sexual harassment was not part of the seminars, but it certainly is on the agenda now:

- We talked to all the intro guides about the importance of making all new students feel comfortable. However, we failed to tell them to make sure that no one felt sexually harassed. I had no idea that activities of this nature took place during intro trips, but obviously we will have to address this particular issue during upcoming seminars.

CBS OBSERVER has repeatedly contacted BLC’s intro team for a comment on the allegations, but has been met with silence. This could be due to the fact that CBS’ legal department is currently investigating the incidents and the parties involved. 

Kommentarer

If this was done by refugee or some immigrant, what would happen?
Imagine Afghanistan refugee offers a banana to the girl, he sees for the first time, to see how deep she can suck it.

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