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Apologies After UCD Computer Science Students Receive 'Consent App' Proposal

Apologies After UCD Computer Science Students Receive 'Consent App' Proposal

The head of UCD's computer science school has issued an apology after students receive forwarded email from a fourth year medical student seeking help on developing a 'consent app' that will combat women 'retracting' consent after initiating in sex.

The app would allow for both participating parties to “electronically sign/verify [a] pre-made contract before engaging in sex”, the Irish Times reports.

The email that was sent to all post grad, third and final year computer science students, from the medical student, ensured that the app 'consent' would make consent clear before entering into the act.

The email goes on to explain how this lack of communication puts the lives of so many men at risk due to women retracting their consent after engaging in sexual activity. The fourth year medical student was searching for someone from the computer science department to help them in developing the app.

“With your help we can fights [sic] the ever growing fear for men to be sued post intercourse due to consent not being recorded/denied/retracted the life destroying legal ramifications that follow - as well as allowing for a clear opportunity if the other, for instance female, does not wish to continue in the act - and leaves out the lack of communication which is responsible for the destruction of thousands of lives each year,”

The head of the school, Prof. Pádraig Cunningham, said the email was shared by mistake to students and was not reviewed or approved by the school.

The medical student who proposed the app, told the Irish Times that they received 26 responses to the email. Out of those 26, 24 were positive responses with people seeking more information or to get involved, and the other two  'misinterpreted' the email sent.

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Prof. Pádraig Cunningham contacted students to apologise for the mistake, and for any offence caused.

“On behalf of the School, I would like to sincerely apologise to the students who have received this email and for the offense it has caused.

“The School of Computer Science will review and improve its approval process for all proposed emails to be sent to students on our lists to ensure that this can not happen again,” Prof Cunningham said.

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Grainne Sharkey

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