We asked York students whether consent classes should be compulsory

Lots of people were reluctant to answer

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Debates about consent classes were sparked at Universities all over the country last week, after Warwick student George Lawlor said he didn’t need consent lessons as he doesn’t have to be taught to not be a rapist.

The University of York don’t currently offer any mandatory consent classes, but many colleges showed the ‘Tea Consent’ video at their welcome talks this freshers week.

We asked students what they really thought about the idea of holding mandatory consent classes for students at the University.

Joe, History, third year

“I don’t know because I would hope that everyone already knows what consent is. If we have to start teaching consent classes then obviously the University is in a pretty bad state.”

Helen and Chris, Chemistry, third year

“In an ideal situation the message should have been received already, but it is a problem that should be addressed.”

Hayley, Politics with International Relations, second year

“Yes, because rape culture is an issue.”

Julia, Human Rights, postgrad

“I’d like to say it should be required, but I also think it shouldn’t have to be. It’s obvious that it is needed but I wish it wasn’t. It’s an interesting theme to discuss with incoming students.”

George, History, third year

“I’m here for asexual awareness week, and speaking from that perspective teaching consent acts is a liberating force for asexual people as well as people in general.”

Stephen, Maths, second year

“I don’t know, I think there are pros and cons for both sides of the argument. The pros are that you learn about consent, but the cons are that there would be a stigma around it if you didn’t attend. I’d be offended if someone told me I had to go to consent classes.”

James, Maths, second year

“I don’t really have an opinion on it.”

Sam, Politics, third year

“If you don’t understand the meaning of the word “no”, then you probably won’t be at University so it’s something that should be taught at an earlier level. Also, it’s offensive to treat everyone as the cause of the problem when 90 per cent of men are not the problem.”

Harry, Politics, third year

“No. I think it treats all men as potential rapists and I don’t think it will actually help tackle the problem of sexual harassment.”

Molly and Arabella, English, first year

“Yes, because when we had a talk about consent during Freshers, everybody still thought it was a joke – and because we shouldn’t have to have a safe word when we go out at night.”