Well-known student activist Annie Teriba resigned from her political campaign posts at Oxford University last week after stating that earlier in the year she had failed to receive full consent before having sex.
Teriba was a strong campaigner for BME and LGBTQ+ rights and a significant voice against sexual harassment and abuse on campus. She previously served as the editor of No Heterox—a magazine ‘for the Queer and Trans* Voices’. Teriba also served as a key member of both the NUS’s black students’ committee and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts committee.
She achieved notoriety by leading a campaign demanding the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes, a white supremacist who was instrumental in the establishment of British colonies in South Africa, from Oxford’s Rhodes College. Speaking to Sky News earlier this year, Teriba said that Oxford University “was built off the back of exploiting labour and the colonial project and it’s something that still gets celebrated in the form of a statue.”
Last year, Teriba wrote an article criticising the Oxford Union over its conduct in an alleged rape scandal. Teriba called for compulsory ‘consent committees’ to educate students about the laws surrounding sexual harassment and rape.
Concerning her own conduct, Teriba wrote an extended statement on her official Facebook profile explaining her resignation. “At this year’s NUS black students’ conference, I had sex with someone. The other party later informed me that the sex was not consensual. I failed to properly establish consent before every act. I apologise sincerely and profoundly for my actions.
“I should have taken sufficient steps to ensure that everything I did was consensual. I should have been more attentive to the person’s body language. In failing to clarify that the person consented to our entire encounter, I have caused serious irreparable harm.
“In a separate incident, in my first year of university, I was alerted to my inappropriate behaviour whilst drunk in a club, where I had touched somebody in a sexual manner without their consent. Therefore this is not an isolated incident. I apologise sincerely and profoundly for my actions.
“With these incidents I have rightly lost the trust of those who I organise with and fully intend to work to ensure that I put my politics into practice in my personal relations and prove to them that I am committed to transformation. As such, it would be wrong of me to accept platforms and access spaces until I have done so.”
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