Trinity Ents have announced the introduction of the “Ask for Angela” policy at this year’s Freshers Week events. The initiative was announced today in a press release from Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Ents Officer, David Flood. Flood previously announced his intention to introduce the policy during TCDSU election hustings last year.
The initiative, which became a viral phenomenon on social media last year, advises those who are at risk of sexual harassment to approach staff members in Freshers Week venues to ask for Angela. Staff will then call a taxi or aid in their exiting from the venue. The policy originated at a Lincolnshire bar over two years ago.
Flood noted the importance of creating an environment where “everyone is able to feel comfortable”. He hopes that the initiative will allow people to be happy “wearing what they want, dancing how they want, with no fear of being harassed”.
According to Flood, this is one of many future policies to be introduced this year to target sexual harassment, and follows the successful introduction of a gender neutral bathroom policy at Ents events. He hopes that the proper implementation of this policy will be more than “a once off gimmick”.
Flood noted that he is keen to promote a safe environment, saying: “It is the responsibility of Trinity Ents and the Ents Officer to ensure the clubs we use are working to ensure everyone’s safety at our events.”
Flood concluded by saying that “it is the duty of the Ents Officer to look past just the event and see the bigger picture, whether using Ents as a platform to promote Irish talent, raise money for causes, or in this case, look out for the safety of students while cultivating a healthy respect between party goers that allows everyone to enjoy themselves on their own terms”.
Flood also pointed out that many of the venues that are being used for Freshers Week have “discussed making the system part of their routine operation”.
This comes a month after research by the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) Smart Consent Initiative that highlighted sexual harassment levels at third level institutions. It revealed that 54% of females and 25% of males suffer sexual harassment during their first year in third level education. This number reaches 70% and 40% respectively among third year students.
TCDSU Freshers Week will take place between September 3 and 7 this year, with events being announced in the last week.