Trinity Hall, where Dr Hutchinson now holds the position of emeritus fellowLouis Ashworth

Content Note: This article contains detailed discussion and description of sexual harassment and assault and legal proceedings concerning these issues. Resources for support and guidance can be found at the bottom of this article.

An open letter has been published criticising the decision of Trinity Hall to readmit a former MML fellow who had been accused of sexual harassment.

The letter, which has almost 300 signatures from both current and former students, says that the readmission of Dr Hutchinson is not in line with the college’s own commitment to zero tolerance of sexual harassment and assault, and calls for changes to be made to the way the college handles sexual harrasment complaints.

Dr Hutchinson was permanently removed from the college in 2017 after 10 students came forward to make complaints about “inappropriate” incidents. A statement released by Trinity Hall stated that Dr Hutchinson had automatically become an emeritus fellow upon his retirement, and that the original decision to remove him had been “incorrect”.

The letter says that Dr Hutchinson’s controversial readmission is “not simply a case of protecting current and future students, and other members of the college, from further risk of sexual harassment and assualt, but about demonstrating zero tolerance.”

In the letter, signatories quote the college’s student handbook, which commits to a “zero tolerance approach to all forms of harassment and bullying”. The letter continues, “we believe that if the college wants to demonstrate this, it will remove Dr Hutchinson from the position as Emeritus Fellow, remove Dr Hutchinson from its website and redact the rights of Dr Hutchinson to attend events at the college.”


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The letter also calls for the college to “critically review” its procedures for handling cases of sexual harassment and assault, and to provide training for staff members on how to support victims of sexual assault and harassment.

Signatories of the letter include Jess O’Brien, CUSU Disabled Students’ Officer and Trinity Hall alumna, Kate Litman, CUSU Women’s Officer, and Stella Swain, CUSU and GU Welfare & Rights Officer. CUSU Women’s Campaign and Disabled Student’s campaign have also signed the letter, alongside Evie Aspinall, former CUSU President.

Trinity Hall told Varisty that, since the 2017 announcement the Dr Hutchinson would be permanently withdrawing from involvement with the College, there had been an “extensive internal process of review... [involving] an external review panel and the obtaining of confidential legal advice.”

“The agreed upon conditions under which Dr Hutchinson will exercise his entitlement as Emeritus Fellow are a consequence of that,” they said, but declined to comment on the consultation any further.

The College went on to say that, “Trinity Hall takes all forms of harassment seriously, and the welfare of its students continues to be central to its work as an educational institution.”

  • Updated, 22nd October 2019: This article was updated to include comment from Trinity Hall.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the following organisations provide support and resources:

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