23 Sep 2014

Students lay complaint over car rally

7:43 pm on 23 September 2014

A group of students at Canterbury University has laid a complaint alleging racist and sexist behaviour at a controversial car rally.

The university's Engineering Society told participants in its annual RoUNDIE 500 (formerly the Undie 500) on Friday to be as controversial as possible.

Decorations and costumes included leaked celebrity nudes and students painted in black.

The university's Feminist Society said the Students' Association is failing to meet its standards of quality and diversity.

President Sionainn Byrnes believed the problem is entrenched.

"There's no accountability for consistent racist and sexist behaviour happening on campus. We feel it's embarrassing and not representative of the diverse student population and the kind of progressive work that's been going on in this so-called higher learning institution."

University vice-chancellor Rod Carr said some of the costumes and decorations at the event were less than tasteful.

However, it was crucial for society to be able to express different views, some of which would push other peoples' boundaries for appropriateness, he said.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs