Crocodile porn ‘Zoom bombing’ disrupts Trevs JCR meeting

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A Trevelyan College Junior Common Room (JCR) meeting was hijacked on 17th January by two ‘Zoom bombers’ who shared explicit images and made racist comments.

Two individuals disrupted the college’s first virtual JCR meeting during questions for the Services Officer candidate. The anonymous callers made racist comments, loud and disruptive noises, and used Zoom’s screen-sharing function to display pornographic images of a naked woman teasing a crocodile with her foot. The attackers were promptly removed from the Zoom call and the meeting continued.

It is currently unknown whether or not the hijackers were members of Durham University. The college’s JCR Executive has launched an investigation into the incident.

“We are deeply sorry for any offence that this incident may have caused”

Trevelyan College’s JCR President Alistair Stark, JCR Chair Georgia Fordham and JCR Welfare Officer Delilah Ferry-Swainson condemned the attempt to disrupt the JCR’s democratic processes: “We are deeply sorry for any offence that this incident may have caused and for not being able to provide a safe environment for our meetings to take place in.

“Whether or not these individuals are members of the Durham community, the comments made are reflective of hostile behaviour experienced by minority groups both within the University and wider society”, they wrote in a statement. “This behaviour must be challenged and called out.”

The incident comes soon after a similar ‘Zoom bombing’ attack on an LGBT+ virtual event hosted by St Mary’s College, in which anonymous callers shouted homophobic and racist slurs at participants and shared explicit images.

The college is investigating ways to prevent future attacks. “Online events are a necessity in these times and the ability for us to continue to host them in a safe way should not be disrupted”, the JCR representatives explained.

James Adamson, Assistant Welfare Officer, was about to deliver a hust for Welfare Officer when the incident occurred. He told Palatinate: “I think it was incredibly disrespectful to the candidate husting and other dedicated members of the JCR. I don’t understand what goes through someone’s head to think that that’s at all funny.”

If any students have been affected in any way by this distressing incident, they are encouraged to contact Trevelyan College’s Welfare Team (trevelyan.welfare@durham. ac.uk) or attend their daily dropin sessions. 

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