87.8% of students who attended the consent workshops organised by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) stated they believe the workshops should take place “every orientation”, according to feedback gathered by the Union.
50.6% of respondents “strongly agreed” that the workshops should be run every year, while 37.2% “agreed”. The sexual consent workshops took place in Trinity Hall during Fresher’s Week. Participants of the workshops were given the option to fill out feedback forms, which asked four questions of the students on their experience of the workshops.
It was the statement “the topic was relevant to college life” that received the most “strongly agreed” responses, with 98.8% of the respondents stating that they agreed with the statement. A total of with 63.5% of students responded that they “strongly agreed”, and 35.3% “agreed”.
Students facilitated the events along with the help of a member of the counselling service. Students who wished to facilite were asked to fill out a form in August. When asked to respond to the statement “the facilitators were effective”, 49.3% “agreed while 47.9% “strongly agreed”.
In addition, 87.4% of students who attended the consent workshops stated they “learned something useful” at the event.
Speaking to Trinity News about the results of the feedback forms, TCDSU Welfare Officer Damien McClean stated that he was “really happy” with the results.
“We heard the feedback from last year and we’ve adapted our workshops and it has shown much better engagement. We are working on ways to improve and expand the topic of consent throughout the college, as this is clearly something that our students want,” he said.
The workshops were introduced for the first time last year, and have only taken place in Trinity Hall. This year, additional measures were undertaken to ensure a high turnout. Each house in Trinity Hall was allocated a time slot and assigned a member of the welfare team who was responsible for ensuring students knew when it was their time to attend to workshop. In addition, flyers, magnets and a timetable advertising the workshops were left in each house.
Over 90% of Trinity Hall tenants attended a sexual consent workshop organised by the Union. While five workshops had been scheduled to take place, organisers held additional workshops due to the strong demand.
In July, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) announced they would be using TCDSU’s consent classes as a model for their own this year. In February, consent classes were cancelled in University College Dublin (UCD) due to low turnout.