Bristol University will not be holding compulsory consent classes in Freshers’ Week this year
There’ll be an online quiz instead
Following inquiries by The Tab Bristol, UoB have confirmed that it will no longer require first year students in halls to attend a mandatory group workshop on sexual consent.
Instead, the topic of consensual sex will be taught as part of the mandatory e-induction for all students living in university accommodation.
However, whilst the online induction is compulsory, students are given the choice to "skip this section" as "some people may people may find it challenging due to previous experiences."
Consent will also be included as an issue in the residence workshops, which aren't mandatory for new students.
The news comes days after a survey revealed that nearly half of incoming first years are worried about sexual assault during their first week.
In a statement, Equality, Liberation and Access Officer Des Ibekwe told this news outlet that: “Bristol SU are committed to ensuring a purpose built course is delivered to new students on their arrival and hope to work with the University to have something in place for the 2018/19 academic year.”
“Consent classes have been successful at many universities around the country including Oxford and Cambridge and we hope to emulate that at Bristol. With the recent Universities UK report on sexual violence, we are committed to ensuring we take all preventative measures to ensure students’ safety.”
Ms Ibekwe was elected on a platform that included lobbying the university for compulsory consent classes upon university registration. The University Intersectional Feminist Society reacted strongly to the news, releasing a lengthy statement condemning the change.
"Consent is complex – teaching it, learning it, and understanding how people's individual circumstances might change the way in which consent is communicated and revoked. Getting to grips with ideas beyond 'no means no' requires that there are multiple conversations. Quite frankly, stopping the non mandatory classes after two years is completely disgusting."
Last year, an online poll ran by The Tab found that 61% of students at Bristol thought that consent classes should be compulsory.