Annie Teriba stood out as an unflinching supporter of gay rights at Oxford University. The 20 year old third-year student at Wadham College was the editor of No Heterox** “a zine for queer and trans voices” and an active member of various on-campus organizations including the the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU).
Arafat “Annie” Oluwatoyosi Teriba, daughter of Nigerian parents, she grew up in East London and was raised primarily by her mother. Her academic excellence, outstanding talent in debate and passion for various causes, helped her gain a place at the prestigious university.
She made her mark at Oxford due to her tireless campaigning for causes including student fees and debt, racial equality and LGBT rights.
This week, she released a statement via her Facebook page, admitting to a non-consensual sexual encounter at the NUS Black Students’ Conference earlier this year as well as another inappropriate encounter in her first year at university.
Her actions and subsequent confession have made the front page of various UK outlets.
Read the statement below;
This statement explains why I will be stepping back from political campaigning from now.
(I owe you a proper explanation, so will go into details here which you may find triggering.)
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 both put my politics into practice in my personal relations and to 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.
In order to ensure the safety of others, I will be taking a number of steps:
i) I breached NUS’s safe spaces policy, so will not be attending future NUS events. ii) I am resigning from all the political positions I hold – from NCAFC’s National Committee and from the NUS’s Black Students’ Committee, and as editor of the No Heterox** zine and as the People of Colour and Racial Equality Officer at Wadham SU, Oxford.
iii) I will be stepping back from prominent campaigning in other forums, including #RhodesMustFall and rs21.
iv) I commit to getting help with how I consume alcohol. It is clear that I lack self-awareness and become sexually entitled when I am drunk. This does not excuse my actions, I am wholly responsible for the damage that I have caused.
v) I commit to educating myself properly about consent by reading zines and other materials which have kindly been made available to me.
vi) I commit to seeking help from perpetrator organisations – for example, I have taken steps to establish contact with RESPECT and will be seeking out organisations who specifically deal with sexual violence.
I am deeply sorry for the hurt I caused.
Yours, Annie Teriba
Several liberal campaigners at Oxford have rejected Annie’s apology – a statement Women’s Campaign Officer Stephanie Kelley shared with The Daily Beast, stated that the group found Teriba’s confession “unfortunately, rife with apologism,” which is why the members do “not condone it nor the violence it describes.”
Others say Miss Teriba is a victim of the hardline approach she preached in her activism.