A residential college at the Australian National University has banned students from playing Daddy Cool hit Eagle Rock at certain events in a bid to prevent an associated tradition in which male students join arms, encircle women and drop their pants.
ANU student and Burton and Garran Hall resident Emily Jones wrote an article on her Eagle Rock experience in university publication Woroni last year and, in a follow-up piece published this week, outlined the response.
"I was told that it was all 'just a bit of fun' and that I was attacking a much-loved B&G 'tradition' that was central to college culture," she wrote.
"The backlash continued to escalate ... with some residents blasting the Eagle Rock song down the hallways in protest.
"Despite this backlash, I quickly realised that writing the article was the best decision I could have made. For every negative reaction I had received, there were many more women bravely sharing their own Eagle Rock stories on both [a] Facebook post and in private messages to me."
Ms Jones wrote that the Burton and Garran Residents Committee had since developed a new policy to deal with the Eagle Rock practice, including banning the encircling of women when the song plays, banning the Australian rock classic from mixers, external venues and formal events, alerting first-years to the tradition and sounding a warning before the song plays to allow time for people to leave the dance floor.
"The new policy addresses most major issues outlined in the Eagle Rock article and will be an important step towards making residents feel safer at B&G," Ms Jones wrote.
But End Rape on Campus Australia report co-author Nina Funnell said tackling sexism and sexist behaviours took more than changing a playlist.
"I think it is really dangerous when we chalk up what is clearly systematic sexism and misogyny to merely being tradition," she said.
"I think that romanticises it and glorifies it and lends it a legitimacy that it just shouldn't have."
Pant-dropping to Eagle Rock happens at institutions and events throughout Australia. The ritual is widely credited to University of Queensland students, is not necessarily gender specific and was once described by Daddy Cool frontman Ross Wilson as "fantastic".
Ms Jones's Woroni article noted that some women took their tops off to the song.
An ANU spokesman said the university aimed to provide a safe, supportive and caring environment free from all forms of unwanted sexual attention.
It has introduced a suite of measures aimed at addressing sexism and sexist behaviours among students, including an online module on consent which some residential colleges have made compulsory.
ANU has run annual training with the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre since 2005 and is working on an online training program for staff.
Vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt last year pledged to make the campus a safe and respectful place for women.
Burton and Garran Hall and Daddy Cool were contacted for comment.