University College Dublin (UCD) has cancelled its sexual consent classes after just 20 students attend. The classes were run by the UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) during their second term last year and first term this year costing UCDSU €1,800 to cancel.
UCDSU Welfare Officer Róisín O’Mara said: “It’s a hot topic at the moment,” stating that many students did not feel the need for consent classes. She continued: “Perhaps that is why people don’t want to be seen as needing to be told what consent is. The people who needed to go to classes wouldn’t have gone.”
She added: “the people who were already engaging were the people who had a fair idea what consent was.”
In February 2016, UCDSU called on university management to fund mandatory workshops on sexual consent for all students.
A UCD spokesman said the matter of the consent classes was a one for UCDSU.
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President, Kieran McNulty said consent workshops that ran during Fresher’s Week were successful, with 400 students attending. He said the TCDSU intends to run similar workshops next September.
UCDSU President, Conor Viscardi, said the consent classes were based on a smart two hour workshop in which students’ views of consent are challenged and where various difficult and unclear scenarios are presented to students. The issues of consent involving drink or drugs is one of the scenarios explored. The workshop was developed at the School of Psychology in the National University of Ireland, Galway.