NUI Galway Students’ Union will roll out consent workshops to first year students at Student Residences Corrib Village and Goldcrest Village.
Over 40 volunteers have been trained by the NUI Galway Smart Consent Programme to facilitate these workshops to students, which include an interactive one hour session on what sexual consent means.
Consent workshops are becoming more a feature of third level education, with the rise of the #metoo movement and sexual harassment on college campuses.
The Students’ Union is also involved in a number of other activities which promote safe sex and consent, including distributing free condoms and promoting the free STI Clinic on campus.
On the importance of educating people on consent, NUI Galway Students’ Union Welfare and Equality Officer Clare Austick said: “Consent education is extremely important and beneficial to students as there appears to be a very evident lack of understanding around the topic of consent and sexual health in general.
“I believe Students’ Unions and Universities in particular should take a strong lead in implementing consent workshops as sexual violence and harassment are still very prevalent issues in today’s world.
“Consent isn’t a straightforward, black and white, spoken about topic, whereby a lack of consent given can potentially ruin lives.
“These workshops are designed to create a dialogue between students around consent and empower the individual to communicate what they may or may not want.”
Padráig MacNeela of SMART Consent added: “It is really exciting to work with NUI Galway Students’ Union on rolling out consent workshops. We know from our research with over 2,000 students nationwide that the workshops are enjoyable and have an impact on confidence and knowledge.
“Now we have the opportunity to learn how to mainstream workshops as part of the student experience at NUI Galway. We will also be releasing short films on consent where you can decide which way you want the evening to end, the first one is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/consent=omfg/”