Trinity Hall scandals: What’s happening now?
A brief insight into what has followed the shocking revelations
CN: references to sexual harassment.
In February, a Tortoise article was published revealing accusations against various members of Trinity Hall. These were unveiled following a long-term investigation conducted by reporters Chris Cook and Ella Hill. The accusations not only involved the sexual misconduct of professors and a student, but also revealed the systematic procedural failures of the collegiate body in the handling of these complaints.
This ultimately resulted in the resignation of Acting Vice-Master Dr Nick Bampos in March, who was consequently replaced by Dr Daniel Tyler. The Master Rvd Canon Dr Jeremy Morris has temporarily stepped down from his duties.
The student body were quick to act following these shocking revelations. Open letters were written demanding more procedural transparency, thorough external investigations, and a better support system for victims of sexual harassment.
In February, the College responded to the final demand by implementing a group session offered by the University’s Sexual Assault and Harassment Adviser for those affected by the media coverage. Students were also offered a maximum of four private counselling sessions funded by the College.
In April, students were informed that barrister Gemma White QC was appointed to lead the inquiry into the allegations put forward by the Tortoise article. Dr William O’Reilly and Rvd Canon Dr Jeremy Morris have been permitted leave of absence so that necessary meetings can take place for the investigation.
Ms White is best known for leading the 2017-19 Inquiry into the Bullying and Harassment of MPs Parliamentary Staff, which concluded that that bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct was at a significantly high scale in Parliament. Her expertise is widespread – notably in leading cases regarding discrimination education establishments – and she has had many universities as clients. Ms White QC has initiated the inquiry and is currently doing as much as she can to continue it despite the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Students have also been coming together following the publication of the Tortoise article. A Facebook group has been created by student Ioana Diac. It involves “a space where people can post ideas, share resources/sources of inspiration, discuss and collaborate on things” contributing to a Trinity Hall Zine about the events, under the theme of “Reverberations / Repercussions”. The Zine is a collaborative and creative outlet for students to express their thoughts and emotions about the situation.
Now all that remains is to wait for the inquiry to be completed. It is hoped that the it will provide answers and more clarity about the Tortoise investigation, and that appropriate measures will be taken as a consequence.
The College has been contacted for further comment.
The Master’s statement to Tortoise Media can be read here.