Complaints over orientation camp sex games

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 August, 2004, 12:00am

The games played at a university orientation camp have disgusted students, who have complained they were asked to kiss strangers on the lips, ask them for tampons or condoms and shout words referring to sex or sex organs.

Women joining Hong Kong Polytechnic University's Health and Social Sciences Faculty contacted the South China Morning Post, angry at the games they claim they were forced to play last week. 'I was shocked and mortified by the crude words and unnecessary intimacy with strangers,' said Esther, who chose not to reveal her full name. 'Instead of friendship and advice about my studies, I have gone home with ugly memories.'

During the three-day programme, the 120 freshers were divided into six groups, led by senior students posing as their parents, she claimed. Each group was named after a sex organ or action.

Group penalties to game losers included one called 'human satellites', which required them to stick out their tongues for members of the opposite sex to circle with their tongues.

'The most shocking news is that the organisers of the camp, who are university students, will soon become social workers and nurses,' said a friend of the students.

Esther said that in one of the games, one of her group members was asked to put on lipstick, passing the colour mouth to mouth to other students. 'It was very disgusting,' she said. 'But I followed because I was afraid of being isolated.

'One of the organisers said they did this to give us a feel of the ugly side of the society. This is nonsense. I felt like we were just entertaining the organisers.'

Lai Chun-kit, president of the Student Union, said student representatives from the faculty were solely responsible for organising and overseeing the camp, which was financed by the union. 'The university gives students a free hand in student activities,' he said. 'The aim of the camp is to cultivate team spirit and familiarise freshers with campus life. The camp is acceptable as long as it does not force participants to act against their will.'

A university spokeswoman said the faculty had been alerted after the camp and met organisers.

'The students said they were aware of what they were doing. The faculty suggested that teaching staff should be invited to the camp to familiarise freshmen with the faculty in future,' she said.

She added that there had been official complaints, and encouraged students to contact representatives of the Student Union or counselling staff at the Student Affairs Office.

Jeffrey Day, associate professor at the University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Education, called the acts immature: 'I would expect them to get over this childishness at the age of 13 or 14. To a certain extent it is caused by the inhibition in schools about sexuality, which is particularly due to the fact that parents don't talk to their children about sex. The school curriculum has given very little time for sexuality education either.''

Student organisers of the camp were unavailable for comment.