UCDSU hits out at university management over reaction to "UCD200"

Image from the UCDSU 'Slutwalk' which took place in November as part of the #NotAskingForIt campaign. Photo credit: Gráinne LoughranA statement released by UCDSU Postgraduate Officer and Vice-President Hazel Beattie has criticised university management for treating allegations of a UCD revenge porn ring as a "public relations matter".A press release circulated by Beattie states that "University management initially assured us of their support [of their #NotAskingForIt campaign] but failed to accompany their assurances with action. We were met with reassurances in the new year but the focus has been on public relations since reports of a student revenge porn ring were published in a student newspaper.""Any appeals for action over the last few days have been answered impatiently or angrily," the statement reads.Speaking to the University Observer last week, SU President Marcus O'Halloran said that UCD President Andrew Deeks was "very quick to support us" in the plans for consent classes to be held for all students in a discussion which took place before the allegations emerged.An investigation by UCD into the existence of a Facebook chat group which was alleged to share photos of female UCD students without their consent reported that the allegations were "based on hearsay" and had "no evidence".Beattie's statement, which was released this morning, does not respond to criticisms from UCD in last week's report on the results of the investigation that the SU were made aware of an alleged Facebook group on December 28th and failed to pass the information on to UCD management.The press release calls for further action by UCD management to "commission a report into student experience of sexual harassment and violence and [they] should further survey student understanding of sexual consent. Among other things, this report should review the need for a dedicated campus support service for survivors of sexual violence." "I wouldn’t hold back from criticizing UCD for inaction but the entire Irish law system needs to be reformed to better protect survivors of sexual violence," adds Beattie. For more on this story, see tomorrow's edition of the University Observer.