Consent Workshops in Colleges Fail Due To “Lack of Interest”

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Te Whare Tāwharau’s consent workshops in colleges did not go ahead this semester.

Melanie Beres, Academic Leader for Te Whare Tāwharau, said that although college leadership were supportive of consent workshops, pick-up from students was “very limited”. 

OUSA Colleges Officer Norhan El Sanjak said this “lack of interest” was to do with timing and poor advertising. 

“Advertising is as important as workshop content,” but Te Whare Tāwharau put more effort into content, she said.

Beres said that a pilot workshop in Semester One attracted 34 people and received “positive” feedback.

Beres said they are “looking at a range of different options” for the workshops, including potentially making the sessions compulsory, and encouraging “students who care about this issue to mobilise and encourage others to attend”.

Norhan said the Uni is looking at including consent workshops in the O-Week schedule for next year. “Hopefully that will get bigger pick-up and better advertising exposure. It won’t be compulsory but students can be indirectly pushed to do it.” 

“It’s silly to think you can have one workshop then be done with it,” said Norhan. “The ones that need consent workshops are the ones that won’t sign up.” Colleges need to put in “continuous work” throughout the year so consent becomes “second nature” for students, she said. 

Rape Crisis worked in colleges prior to the opening of Te Whare Tāwharau, but they declined to comment for this story. 

This article first appeared in Issue 26, 2018.
Posted 11:02pm Thursday 4th October 2018 by Esme Hall.