Sydney University's vice-chancellor, Michael Spence, has taken the extraordinary step of emailing all students to reassure them he was developing “a plan of action” to deal with the ongoing crisis at St John's.
Dr Spence also urged any student distressed by inappropriate behaviour to contact the university's counselling service.
It follows Fairfax Media reports that the 150-year-old St John's college has descended into anarchy, with widespread vandalism, furniture being smashed and set on fire and faeces routinely found in common rooms.
It also follows 33 students being suspended on March 4 for allegedly being involved in the now infamous "O" Week ritual that left a teenage girl close to death in hospital after a wild drinking game.
In a message sent on Thursday morning, Dr Spence wrote that while the “unacceptable activities” were being attributed to a “minuscule proportion” of the university student body, “some of you are concerned that the entire student body will be tainted by association”.
Dr Spence pledged to do everything in his power to protect the university's reputation and said he was working with Cardinal George Pell and the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, to devise a response to problems at the Catholic college.
The story Sydney University moves to protect students and reputation first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.