Tab journalist and Warwick student George Lawlor, who controversially objected to being invited to attend Warwick Students’ Union’s ‘I Heart Consent’ workshops earlier this month, reversed his decision in a conversation hosted by BBC Newsbeat.
The video shows Lawlor talking to Warwick SU women’s officer Josie Throup about the aim of the workshops, to educate students about sexual consent.
At the start of the term executives from all societies were invited to take part in consent workshops as part of the National Union Of Student’s ‘I Heart Consent’ campaign. These workshops are aimed at reducing sexual harassment and assault on campuses.
George Lawlor, a third-year Politics and Sociology student, was invited to attend a workshop as part of his role as a member of the executive of Warwick Conservatives.
Lawlor’s criticism of the campaign and of his invitation to take part gained attention not only on campus but nationwide, with coverage from the BBC, the Independent and the Guardian.
After the SU’s women’s officer Josie Throup issued a plea to Lawlor and other critics to “have a heart” and take part in the campaign in hope of reducing sexual harassment, BBC Newsbeat hosted a discussion between the Throup and Lawlor about the article, the campaign and the wider issue of sexual violence.
In the video, Lawlor comments: “I didn’t write the article well enough, I may have said the wrong things.”
I don’t regret writing the article” – George Lawlor
“I don’t regret writing the article even if I may have written it wrong, because it got the discussion going. That’s all I ever wanted, and I’m sure that’s all you ever wanted as well.”
Throup went on to ask Lawlor if he would attend a workshop in the future, to which he agreed: “Not because I feel like I need it. But because I’m a writer and someone who has criticised it I feel like I should have a look”.
First-year Classical Civilisation student Ellen Rodda told the Boar: “When the majority of people are sexually assaulted by people they know it’s imperative that all students, especially those in positions of responsibility, attend these classes.”
Second-year Philosophy student Joseph Lester added: “At least this whole thing has actually served to increase awareness of the workshops.”