UCD SU holds first ever 'Slutwalk' on campus

UCD Students' Union held the first ever slutwalk on campus this afternoon as part of its #NotAskingForIt campaign.Roughly 100 UCD students took part in the march, which began at 1.15pm from the Student Centre.The slutwalk was also attended by broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan as well as author Louise O'Neill, who launched the campaign in October. Representatives from the Rape Crisis Centre and the National Women's Council of Ireland were also present."Nine cases of sexual assault were reported last year to UCD," said SU Postgraduate Officer and campaign organiser Hazel Beattie at the event. "Do you think they were really the figures?"The slutwalk was led around campus by Hazel Beattie and SU President Marcus O'Halloran in order to highlight the problem of street harassment and toprotest for the right to "wear what you want". It is part of a year long campaign by the Students' Union to publicise the importance of consent and to lobby UCD management to introduce a policy for dealing with sexual assault on campus.Commenters on Facebook were looking forward to the event and felt it to be an important issue raised by the Students' Union. UCD student Sorcha Murphy commented "This is so important and I can't wait for it. I deal with sexual harassment almost weekly because of what I wear and it just has to stop."Eleanor Blundell commented, "I was debating whether to go to this or not but after getting cat called on the way home from college I'm definitely going."Criticisms have been raised with the SU for the portrayal of the walk on posters, which social media users have claimed "trivialise" sexual harassment through their use of language. The use of the term 'slutwalk' has also proven problematic, as a meeting of the SU council last week voted to change the name. This wasn't followed through on by the Students' Union, reportedly due to press releases having already been sent out by the time the issue was raised.The campaign will continue throughout the year with a campus-wide survey on sexual assault and consent.