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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 27 May, 2016

Compulsory sexual consent classes planned for UCD following revenge porn allegations

The university is investigating claims that male students shared explicit images of female students without their permission.

Image: www.ucd.ie

SEXUAL CONSENT WORKSHOPS could soon be mandatory for all year groups at University College Dublin (UCD) following allegations of revenge porn targeting female students.

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

Mandatory workshop plans are the latest development in the union’s year-long consent campaign aimed at addressing the issue of sexual assault among students.

UCD confirmed last week that it was investigating claims that a group of male students shared explicit images of female students they had slept with on social media.

It followed reports that as many as 200 students have been active in a private Facebook group chat used to share stories about and rate intimate photos of young women.

A spokesperson for the university said that breaches of its dignity code may result in sanctions up to and including expulsion.

UCDSU condemned the alleged behaviour and asked anyone with evidence to present themselves to gardaí.

Financial support

The union is now calling on university management to fund compulsory consent classes, as well as improve college procedures for reporting of sexual assault.

UCD has recorded only nine incidents of sexual assault since 2010, despite having over 30,000 students.

UCDSU said the university must updates its policies to ensure formal complaints can be made online and quickly addressed.

College management should review the need for a dedicated support service for survivors of sexual violence as a matter of priority, it said.

“We’re not going to pass the buck. We will change ‘lad’ culture in UCD as promised following our election to office,” the union said in a statement.

Earlier this month, student representatives at Trinity College Dublin approved plans to introduce mandatory consent workshops at university-run accommodation for new undergraduates.

Consent classes are also available to first-year students at NUI Galway and IT Tralee.

According to research published by the Union of Students in Ireland last week, one in twelve female students have been victims of rape.

The survey found that 16% of students in Irish colleges have had an unwanted sexual experience in their current educational institution.

Read: Investigation over revenge porn allegations at UCD

Read:  Sexual consent workshops to be compulsory for new TCD students

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