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File photo Sam Boal

'People were incredibly uncomfortable in that room': USI cannot condone 'hazing' event at DCU

Students behind “inappropriate behaviour” at DCU’s A&F society event to undergo consent training.

THE UNION OF Students in Ireland has said it can’t condone the targeting of first year students for a “number of very ridiculous stunts” at a meeting of the Accounting and Finance Society (A&F). 

A&F has been banned from hosting social events this semester following an EGM in which students were put through a number of tasks in order to be elected as class representative on the committee. 

Speaking to Sean O’Rourke  on RTE Radio 1 this morning President of the USI Síona Cahill, said they have received a number of reports from students who were very uncomfortable with what unfolded. 

On behalf of students and students unions and  student societies across the country this was  unacceptable behaviour.

At the meeting, students who are single had to “shift” (kiss) someone to move onto the next round, according to DCU’s  college newspaper the College View.

Discussing the events with O’Rourke, Cahill said: “There were people incredibly uncomfortable in that room”:

We don’t condone what was going on here but we’re not the crap craic squad.

Cahill said that what was going on would have been more appropriate for the sex quiz for the Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance week where students know what they are signing up for. 

She told O’Rourke that what was being described by the students was unacceptable, but that this type of hazing is not reflective of college societies here: 

It’s not a thing in societies in Ireland, this incident is quite isolated but that doesn’t mean that it’s OK.

The students involved in organising the event will now undergo mandatory consent classes. Cahill said the situation is a symptom of a wider problem: 

It smacks really of a wider problem. Consent education needs to be rolled out across third level and second level.

DCU has issued a statement in response to the incident saying “inappropriate behaviour of this nature is not tolerated by the university”.

The college said it is taking the matter “extremely seriously”:

The University’s Society Life Committee met on 9 October to address the issues that arose and voted unanimously to suspend all of the social activities of the Accounting and Finance Society for the remainder of the semester. 
Furthermore, it was also decided that the students involved in organising the event in question should undergo a training workshop focusing on the topic of Respect and Dignity at Dublin City University. 

The statement goes on to say, “DCU is fully committed to all students and staff abiding by an ethos of dignity, courtesy and respect at all times”.

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