Sunday 4 December 2016

UCD Students' Union to introduce ‘mandatory’ sexual consent classes

David Kearns

Published 09/02/2016 | 17:42

UCD students taking part in the SlutWalk campaign, which calls for an end to rape culture.
UCD students taking part in the SlutWalk campaign, which calls for an end to rape culture.

Sexual consent workshops could soon be mandatory for those attending University College Dublin following allegations that some 200 students were involved in sharing intimate photos of female classmates.

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The UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) is seeking funding to ensure these classes can be taken by all students from the beginning of the next academic year.

In a statement, they called on UCD’s management to “come completely on board” and support the workshops.

Read More: UCD investigates reports of 'revenge porn' group on campus

“We will change ‘lad’ culture in UCD as promised following our election to office.

“University management must now come completely on board and help us fund badly needed policy changes… [it] must work with us to ensure visible, adequate campus supports for survivors of sexual violence.”

Among the measures that the UCDSU are seeking to introduce are mandatory sexual consent workshops, clearly communicated procedures to report sexual harassment, assault, rape and revenge porn, funding to be increased to UCD counselling services, and a comprehensive survey detailing students’ experiences of sexual harassment, assault, rape and revenge porn.

Read More: 'Your clothes do not excuse a sexual assault'

Proud: Student Victoria Banach at the UCD Students' Union 'Not Asking For It' campaign. Photo: Fergal Phillips.
Proud: Student Victoria Banach at the UCD Students' Union 'Not Asking For It' campaign. Photo: Fergal Phillips.
Hazel Beattie UCDSU Graduate Officer with Slutwalk participants. Photo: Fergal Phillips

UCD confirmed last week that it was investigating claims that a group of male students shared explicit images of female students in a private Facebook group.

Also alongside the images, users were asked to share stories about the girls and encourage others to rate them.

Independent.ie understands that UCD has sent out an email asking students to come forward in confidence so that the university can investigate the circumstances surrounding the allegations.

The UCDSU’s push for sexual consent workshops follows similar measures adopted Trinity College Dublin, IT Tralee and NUIG, who have all introduced classes on sexual consent for new undergraduate students.

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