St Andrews University is introducing compulsory sexual consent lessons in the wake of an increasing number of rape allegations being made by its students.
These lessons will be offered both to new students as part of the Freshers’ Week programme and to returning students.
This policy has been introduced after dozens of anonymous allegations relating to sexual misconduct at the university were posted on an Instagram account known as St Andrews’ Survivors. The subjects of the allegations range from sexual harassment to assault and rape.
However, a spokeswoman from the University pointed out that some of these weren’t directly related to the Fife institution itself but to events that took place before the survivors started university.
The Daily Telegraph has also reported that twelve separate allegations of rape have been made on the Instagram page against members of fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. There are chapters of the US-based fraternity throughout the world.
Coming forward in any capacity takes tremendous bravery, and we want to thank everyone who has both told their stories and those who have supported them as we confront these difficult issues. We hear you and want to help
– Alpha Epsilon Pi
The alleged perpetrators have been suspended. Alpha Epsilon Pi has responded to the allegations, describing the contents as “abhorrent”, and stating that they are “taking them extremely seriously”.
It said: “Coming forward in any capacity takes tremendous bravery, and we want to thank everyone who has both told their stories and those who have supported them as we confront these difficult issues. We hear you and want to help.”
The vice-principal of education at St Andrews has met with the founder of the page and they have encouraged people to report their allegations to the police.
Police Scotland has said that they haven’t received any reports of sexual misconduct related to the University.
However, the community inspector for North East Fife, Yvonne Stenhouse, has said: “We are aware of these online reports and are working with the university to make sure students in St Andrews feel safe while they live and study in the town.”