A dormitory of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has denied that bullying took place after a video surfaced on Wednesday appearing to show a student slapping another on the face with his penis.
The dormitory, Simon K. Y. Lee Hall, came under the spotlight after HKU student publication Undergrad published claims that the incident took place at the residential hall. Its students’ association issued a statement on Thursday saying that its members, warden and tutors in charge “immediately” investigated the incident.
“It is confirmed that the conduct raised no concern of bullying. The warden has submitted an investigation report to the University to explain the situation. The University will follow up on the matter,” the statement said.
It said the students involved have been suspended from the dormitory until the investigation is completed. The dormitory distanced itself from the incident, saying that it was a “one-off” case and had no connection with it.
“We sincerely apologise for creating any misunderstanding about HKU’s dormitory community as a result of the incident,” it said.
‘Condemns abusive acts’
In the video, a student was seen being pressed down in bed by his peers. He was then slapped on his face with the genitals of one of his peers, who wore a hoodie bearing the words “Chemistry HKU.”
On a separate occasion, some 20 students at another HKU residential hall – St. John’s College – were accused of entering the dormitory room of a student without consent and then pouring wax over his penis. The incident is thought to have taken place last month, but it only surfaced Sunday after student news website Pokfulam Herald reported on it.
The students’ association of the dormitory has not commented on the allegation.
While the two incidents sparked a public outcry, some people attributed the conduct to “hall tradition” and dismissed it as being an act of bullying.
A spokesperson for HKU told HKFP on Thursday that the residential hall involved will conduct a thorough investigation, and that disciplinary action will be taken if it is justified.
“The University condemns abusive or bullying acts, and protects all those affected by bullying including cyber bullying,” it said. “The University will continue to offer full support and assistance to students who have been distressed by this episode.”
A police spokesperson said the Western Police District crime unit is following up on the case.