A SWANSEA University student is under investigation after posting an offensive tweet about rape.
Business student Sam Bodinham caused uproar with his joking remark:
“If ever I see a girl out in a blue and black dress I’m gunna rape the c*** cause of the emotional damage this dress has caused me”.
There was an immediate backlash from Twitter users condemning the tweet.
“What the actual **** is wrong with you that you’d ever think saying something like this is in any way acceptable?”
“Sam Bodinham you need to get off the internet.”
His previously public twitter account has now been made private, but students continue to comment about the offending tweet.
“You can’t allow a word like rape to be thrown about so carelessly especially when it could trigger horrific memories for someone who reads it. I feel absolutely enraged when I hear anyone using the word rape out of context or in such a careless manner.” – Jess Watts
“It’s a stupid statement to make. The person who made the racist tweet a few years back got reprimanded by the Uni (if I remember correctly) so this should be punished also.” – Adam Ellis
“They should definitely act but what is really the appropriate response? Maybe forcing the person to attend a course at the rape crisis centre to understand the seriousness of his comment?” – Hani Hilal
“I find it disgusting. Just because you have freedom of speech does not mean that you should be able to say such horrific things and expect nothing to come of it. People need to learn the seriousness of what they say and how it can affect other people.
“They may say it was ‘just a joke’ but how can anyone joke about something as serious as rape? There should be consequences and perhaps attending a course at the rape crisis centre is extreme but it would definitely teach the seriousness of saying such things and how they aren’t to be joked about. How far do people have to go before its one step too much?” – Rachel Walsh
“Definitely, poor attempt at humour that in this day and age, simply isn’t found funny by anyone” – Emma Kemp Mcmillan
“The thing is would this person walk into a room full of people and shout out what they said in that tweet? If it’s unacceptable and wrong to do something in person then it should also be wrong to do it online.” – Adam Ellis
Other students defended his right to free speech:
“Whilst I don’t find his remark funny in the slightest, it is clear that this was supposed to be a joke. He’s not directly threatening anyone either. He may be a massive plum, but I would truly hate to live in a society where posting a tweet can get you punished.
“He said something I disagree with, he must be punished!” I mean really… Lack of social tact and having a low class sense of humour should not bar someone from the right to make a joke.
“Again, I don’t find it funny, it’s a puerile, thoughtless, and frankly unoriginal comment. But people being punished for making jokes is just not right. Ever.” – Sam Adlington
Chloe Mills also urged people not to take the remark out of context:
“While I in no way agree with what he put, I’ve met the guy and he’s just a regular guy entrenched in lad culture, and was thoughtless and trying to be funny (obviously missed the mark), but I don’t believe it was a threat as such. And he’s being investigated, he’s had a good bit of punishment so far. It was awful and he should understand the consequences, and I think he has – doesn’t need his life ruined. ”
A Swansea University spokesperson said:
“We will not comment on individual student matters. However, the university regards the posting of offensive, indecent or violent messages on social media sites as wholly unacceptable.
“We would remind students of the University’s expectations regarding the information which students post in the public domain, outlined within the University’s Social Media Guidelines for Students [accessible at: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/media/Social%20media%20guidelines%20April%2014.pdf].
“We would also remind students that the material they post online is their ‘personal digital footprint’, and can directly influence their future employability – positively or negatively.”
Sam Bodinham declined to comment.