DCU and the National College of Ireland (NCI) are investigating Monday night’s destruction of a consent display in DCU’s student centre.
NCI’s students’ union said they were looking into the incident as it is thought that a student from the college was involved. A DCU spokesperson said: “DCU is aware of the incident that took place on Monday night and is currently investigating the matter.”
The display, which was part of the “It Stops Now” project, featured different kinds of underwear hanging around the U building.
Videos uploaded to social media accounts showed a group of men tearing down the display, with one video captioned: “Fuck DCU.” A separate photo posted of the incident was also captioned: “That’s only the start of it”.
The individual who uploaded the video to Instagram, Jack Stevens, made an apology on his Twitter account. “We would like to apologise to those affected by this display of ignorance on our behalf on Monday evening,” he said.
“We now know this was to commemorate and raise awareness to those who have been sexually abused or assaulted, we never intended anyone to be hurt by this, and we too understand the severity of the topic at hand,” he added.
In his apology, Stevens said that “a lot of alcohol was consumed on our behalf”.
He said that: “Not one of us that were involved in the ruining of the display attend DCU so we can solemnly swear that we were unaware that there was a consent awareness campaign being carried out in the college this week and that this display was a part of it.”
“Our intentions during the mess we caused was simply to wind up one of our friends who helped organise the ‘blind dates’ event meaning he would have more to clean up as we left, leaving us completely unaware of what the underwear was there for.”
Nubar’s manager, Dave Kineavy, said the incident occurred after the “blind dates” event and had nothing to do with the organisers.
“The guys that were running the event went out and made them put it back up,” he said.
“There were a couple of DCU students there as well. They didn’t physically pull it down; my issue there is they stood by and they watched.
“I asked the guys that pulled it down ‘would you do that in your own college?’ and the answer I got was ‘yeah’.”
DCU’s Feminist Society condemned the tearing down of the display in a statement released on social media. They said: “There is an epidemic of rape culture in Ireland which can be seen in how cases are conducted and it is a serious issue — not a drunken laughing matter.”
The College View has reached out to those involved in the ruining of the display but has not received a comment as of publication.
Sally Madden & Brendan Fernando Kelly Palenque
Image Credit: Sonja Tutty