Women videotaped speak out about Drunk Times Homecoming video

Student leaders condemn video for infringements on consent

A screenshot of AroraTV’s instagram after the video was re-publicized.
Credit: 
Via AroraTV on Instagram

The Sunday after Homecoming, a video surfaced on YouTube and various Queen’s Facebook groups entitled “Drunk Times with College Girls: Queen’s Homecoming”, featuring a male in his twenties interviewing intoxicated students, particularly women.

Questions included “do you have sex on the first date” and “can I touch your boobs”. The video also shows clips of the interviewer pointing his microphone to a women’s breasts and another male putting his face in a women’s breasts.

The video lasted roughly 48 hours online before being privatized, only to be re-publicized days later.

The video was uploaded under a YouTube channel called AroraTV. On AroraTV’s Instagram, the video was accompanied by a caption saying “video’s public again — if you can’t handle it go watch cat videos”.

For two of the girls interviewed in the video, their response was of disappointment.

“On HOCO, like most people I was pretty blackout,” one of the girls wrote to The Journal. She requested that her identity remain anonymous, saying she experienced discomfort and shame.

“I didn’t remember being in the video at all.”

Though she found the editing of the video amusing, she said that many women were upset by the way it sexualized females on campus. Her own segment at the end of the video made her uncomfortable.

She says she doesn’t remember how the conversation started, or whether she gave her permission to be included in the video. “Or motorboat me for that matter,” she wrote.

After the video was posted, she anxiously scrolled through social media, repetitively asking people to untag her in the video so family and co-workers couldn’t see it. “The whole thing made me feel uncomfortable, anxious and a little violated,” she wrote.

Though she says the feelings are temporary, that fact in itself makes her wonder about the atmosphere around consent and how it’s understood on campus.

“I feel like we’ve (even women) have been so desensitized to this kind of thing that unless it’s a severe or violent case of female sexualization or non consensual like rape or slut shaming then we just don’t generate
a reaction.”

Amanda Katz, ArtSci ’17, said that her appearance in the video — where she gives the interviewer permission to touch her breast — was only a short snippet of the conversation she had.

Though she still maintains that she consented to some of the questions, she recalls that when he asked increasingly offensive questions, “I proceeded to laugh and walk away while flipping him off. But, why would he show the part of the video when people were conducting themselves in a positive manner?” 

Katz called the video and interviewer careless. “I am a confident female that isn’t taking this situation to heart. However, for those other girls that were ridiculed, I want to simply stress how demeaning situations like these are.”

The videos shouldn’t have been taken nor posted, she wrote to The Journal, and taint an atmosphere where people converge to have a good time, not to get embarrassed the next day.

“We’re all just trying to have a great time on homecoming, and if that involves acting stupid, the only people that should be witness are those you choose to surround yourself by,” she wrote.

Similar videos at other universities were previously posted on Arora TV’s channel. One video — filmed at Laurier, privatized on Monday as well — featured a sequence in which he asked one young woman the “naughtiest thing you’ve done in bed”.

The Journal reached out to the videomaker via email on Monday and again on Thursday, with no response.

In the days since, the AMS executive team has released a statement denouncing the video. Rector Cam Yung also spoke to The Journal about the video and it’s responses on social media.

“Our community often fails to recognize sexual violence when it occurs,” he said. “Too often, rape culture is being passed off as ‘humour’ on social media. For myself, actions of the individual asking questions were misogynistic, sexist, and inappropriate.”

Furthermore, he added, taking advantage of people who have been drinking shows disrespect for others’ integrity and their reduced ability to consent.

When the video was posted on the Overheard at Queen’s Facebook group, it caused arguments in the comment section, with opinions on whether or not the video was consenting.

Some students wrote that there was no clear infringement on consent, and no clear actions that constituted violence against the women in the video. The Journal received a large quantity of messages after reaching out to students on the Facebook group, all of which expressed sentiments of discomfort and frustration.

“This video does not speak to the values and beliefs of the Queen’s family,” Yung said. “The actions by the maker of the video should not be allowed on campus and do not reflect our student body.”

He urged students to seek further education about consent and sexual violence, pointing out the student-run Bystander Intervention Program available at Queen’s.

In an email to The Journal in response to the video, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator Barb Lotan said that “conversations designed for shock value that include questions about engaging in specific sexual acts, the frequency of sexual activity and the desirability of strangers can minimize and detract from the issues we should be discussing,” like healthy relationships, alcohol, consent and rape culture.

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