Two Warwick students involved in a group chat that threatened to rape “100 women” will not be returning to the university, despite a ban on their attendance being lifted.
Vice chancellor Stuart Croft said on Monday evening he had spoken to the men and had agreed they would not return to the campus in September.
“I am continuing to listen to the views of students, staff and all members of our community here at Warwick and support them so that we can learn from this experience,” Croft added.
The university said there will be enhanced wellbeing support for the students and staff affected by issues relating to the group chat.
The Russell Group University had initially banned the two students for 10 years, but the punishment was reduced to one year after they appealed their case.
After the news of their lowered sanction was announced, the university was heavily criticised for the decision by other students, politicians and the media.
People took to social media to condemn the decision, with some tagging posts with #ShameOnYouWarwick.
One of the women involved in the case posted an open later detailing how scared she was of encountering the men again.
She said the events had caused her anxiety and depression, adding: “Words cannot describe the heartbreak that overcame myself and other victims. We were discussed so violently. We were humiliated, as if for sport.”
Student publication The Boar – which originally broke the story in June last year – released a statement from another victim that said: “I think it’s important to remember this isn’t a victory for any of us really.”
She said the university had not told her of the decision to lower the sentences of the two men, and even though the students had now said they would not be returning she added: “It’s still a sad time to be a Warwick student.”
The student publication revealed messages last year from a group chat that was called “Fuck women, Disrespect them all”.
One message said they should target “100 girls” with another post saying they should “rape the whole flat to teach them all [a] lesson”.
Three other students disciplined over the incident received different sanctions – one was banned for life for messages sent in the group chat, and two others received one-year bans.
It was the discrepancy between the two students who received a one-year ban and the two who received a 10-year ban that led to the latter appealing the decision.
The group chat was condemned “in the strongest possible terms” by the Warwick University Student Union.
A spokesman for the university said at the time: “We are unable to comment further on individual student discipline cases, but we can assure you that the university has a robust student discipline procedure that includes a detailed investigation, and consideration of the case by a committee of senior academic staff and Students’ Union sabbatical officers.”