Sexual consent classes for freshers at EVERY college
Attendance is mandatory at most colleges
Concerned JCR officers will hold compulsory consent classes at 22 colleges during Freshers’ Week.
Only Corpus Christi, Harris Manchester, Lincoln, New Oriel, St Anne’s, Teddy Hall and University have chosen not to make their workshops mandatory, but will still hold them.
The classes explore the difference between consensual and non-consensual sex. They aim to combat sexual harassment and violence at the university.
The OUSU website describes the workshops as “student led, facilitated conversations, looking at some statistics, looking at a few scenarios and exploring what consent is, how to give it and how to accept it or its retraction.”
Although classes have been running since 2011, Wadham was the first college to make theirs compulsory last year.
At least four more colleges will hold optional workshops, which last one hour and take place in groups of ten, during Freshers’ Week.
Caitlin Tickell on the Women’s campaign said: “A lot of people come to university with a very, very basic sex education which stems from sheer biology. It doesn’t teach people about rape myths.”
Anna Bradshaw, OUSU Vice-President for Women, said there was a need to make the workshops compulsory.
She said: “By making the workshops compulsory, communities have a much higher chance of involving people who are otherwise unlikely to engage in this type of conversation.
“It is also important to say that “compulsory” merely means that everyone is expected to turn up – nobody is ever kept at a workshop that they wish to leave.”
Uni bigwigs are also introducing new measures against sexual violence, promising to release a revised harassment policy during term.