A speaker at Pink Training 2017 was asked to leave the event after coming into contact with a delegate who had previously made allegations against them to the Union of Students Ireland (USI).
The delegate chose to leave Pink Training and the speaker’s workshops were cancelled. The USI fell under criticism on social media for their handling of the allegations of “prior misconduct” made.
“On the basis of the desire to have the trainee fully participate at Pink Training, the speaker was approached to inform them that an allegation had been made and was asked without prejudice, and without making any determinations in respect of the allegations, in the interests of the operation to the event, not to deliver any more sessions,” said USI President Michael Kerrigan.
After the allegations were made, “organisers met to ascertain the necessary steps to ensure that the trainee was able to fully and comfortably participate in the event,” said Keegan. The following day the delegate decided to leave.
“It was hard for them to act when it was an allegation, I think they dealt with it as carefully as they could,” said delegate Bron Redmond. “It made us feel empowered that we could say ‘no we aren’t okay with this and we will stand by our family’.”
In a Twitter feed criticising the USI, the user posted: “For so many people, #PinkTraining is the first time they’ve spent a weekend with other LGBTQI youth. The first time they’ve been surrounded by people who get them just as they are. And that means NOTHING if that space ignores reports of sexual assault.”
Redmond commented that the delegate was “grateful for us more than the USI and they believed nothing would have happened if we hadn’t stood up for them.”
This year Pink Training, Europe’s largest LGBTQ training event, was held in Galway. The event offered guidance and support to over 300 students.
“You leave with so many more questions and a burning desire to change the world,” said Redmond
“USI receives feedback from delegates at all training events, including feedback on speakers, modules, venue etc. and use this information when organising events in the future. This is no different for Pink Training,” said Kerrigan.
Image Credit: USI