Oxford SU has called for an “urgent meeting” with the University following revelations that the University employed a monk convicted of child sex abuse for twelve years, despite a government ban on his working with younger undergraduates.
Father Bernard Green, a Benedictine monk and member of the Faculty of Theology, was banned from engaging with students under the age of 19, having been convicted of indecent assault of a child under the age of 14 in 1996. He was dismissed from all roles at St. Benet’s Hall in 2012, before his death in 2013.
The SU told Cherwell: “It is alarming to learn that Green was employed by The University whilst still on the Sex Offenders Register and was allowed to engage with students under the age of 19, which clearly goes against his ban.
“We have called for an urgent meeting with the University to discuss how to ensure this does not happen again and ensure that student safety is not jeopardised again.”
The SU further condemned the University for their “clear negligence” on this issue.
They added: “This is a clear indication that stringent investigation into potential new staff has not occurred and may not be occurring today. This negligence puts students and other staff members at risk and directly harms the University community.
“The collegiate university cannot sit back and ignore the fact some staff members may be a danger to students.
“The SU calls the collegiate university to act in a more diligent and thorough way when employing staff and we urge them to particularly examine whether incoming staff members have the potential to cause harm, given evidence and/or prior offences.
“We have called for a meeting with the University to learn about their work to stop this from happening again.”
In response to the SU’s statement, a University spokesperson told Cherwell: “We understand students’ concerns about the findings of this troubling report.
”We regularly review our safeguarding policies and pre-employment screening checks and we are always happy to discuss these with our students.”