Russia’s Investigative Committee is examining claims that students at a Siberian university were forced to undress as part of a campus orientation event.
Photos from the event for new students at Kemerovo State University’s Department of History and International Relations were released online Tuesday, the Interfax news agency reported. The resulting scandal has so far caused three staff members to resign from their posts.
The first-year students reportedly undressed as part of a competition held outside the city in which they received points for removing different articles of clothing.
One student told the Vse42.ru news site that older students threatened to beat those declined to take part.
They also said that the university would expel them for not participating and that older students would sneak into first-years’ rooms at night and cover them with feces.
“I was very afraid, and I wasn’t ready for this,” the student said.
Other students have refuted the claims, saying that nobody was forced to undress against their will.
“The upperclassmen are great guys and the orientation was cool,” one participant told Gazeta Kemerovo, “and what people are now claiming is pure slander.”
Investigators are currently trying to determine which university officials were responsible for the event, the Investigative Committee said in a statement. The university administration has also appealed to the regional prosecutor’s office to carry out an investigation.