KISS week focused on consent

Amy Donohoe

Image Credit: Mikey Walsh

Students were given the opportunity to avail of the Smart consent workshops again this semester during KISS week.

Eighty students were educated in the SMART consent program this semester which brings the total to 643 students who voluntarily attended the program.

“The workshops were done again this semester as we had students asking for retraining of officers. So, it was detrimental that they were done again. Also, it gave an opportunity to students who missed it in semester one, especially placement students,” said Irish Officer, Sorcha Ni Chonghaile.

When asked on how to improve the workshops Ni Chonghaile said: “to make it better, just make it more of an accessible module…so, more people have to sit it.”

She continued to say, “I really enjoyed the workshops, but it could do with a refresher or a revamp.”

Isha Mc Donnell, who was chair of FEMSOC last year, reinforced the idea of SMART consent with Podge Henry, previous DCU Students’ Union VP for Equality and Welfare.

The aim of the program is to work with students, not provide classes, by using the evidence-based activities that they’ve have designed. No one is asked to give personal information or talk about their experiences, instead, the workshops are there to help others understand.

Sinead McGrath, who played a huge part in running the workshops, is a nurse in Student Health Service on St Patrick’s Campus and has vast experience in the area of women’s health, sexual and health matters. The Consent workshops began in September 2017 because of her.

Former DCUSU VP for Equality and Welfare, Cody Byrne, looked into Bystander workshops and they were run over a six week period within small groups whereas SMART consent workshops were successfully facilitated to about a group of 30 in one session.

“I feel the SMART Consent workshops were quite eye-opening to what is considered and what is not considered consent. It was an effective way to deal with it, it opened up a normal conversation about the topic and at the end of it I left with more knowledge than I knew,” said first-year engineering student Sele Clement.

But second-year engineering student Billy Siggins said that he “felt it should be taught at a younger age, as incidents happen at a young age, and it’s easier to get kids to do a consent class than college students if it’s non-mandatory.”

Amy Donohoe

Image Credit: Mikey Walsh