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UCLan Students’ Union Statement: Racial & Anti-Semitic Incident

Update - Tuesday 14th June 2022.

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An Update from the Elected Officer Team - Tuesday 14th June.

Earlier today we met with the University’s Vice Chancellor’s Group, the most senior team at the University. It was a useful meeting where we raised several concerns and asked questions on behalf of our student members. 

We asked questions about; 

  • The complaints process and raised our concerns about how this process has been managed, the lack of communication with the students involved throughout and what changes we could make to stop this same situation from occurring again in the future. 

  • The reasoning behind the decision to suspend the two students who raised the complaint and urged them to question whether this was usual practice. 

  • Whether the processes students and staff at UCLan go through to voice concerns about hate incidents and crimes are as clear as possible. We suggested a re-assessment of the structures in place to ensure that hate incident reports are treated with a greater level of awareness and sensitivity that better considers context and unintended consequences. 

We’re awaiting the release of a statement from the University regarding this situation. 

We are the advocacy charity for students at UCLan and we will remain transparent throughout this. We are here to raise your concerns and work on students’ behalf to improve the experience for students here at UCLan. 

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Statement Update - Monday 13th June.

Since our below statement was published last week, we have seen the growing social media and press over the weekend about the racist and anti-Semitic incident. We wanted to share an update from the Students’ Union with our members.

The Elected Officer Team have a meeting with the University Vice Chancellor’s Group on Tuesday 14th June and appreciate the opportunity to engage with them further. Staff and Officers of the Students’ Union continue to meet and talk through what action needs to happen and what is being raised to the University.

We know this isn’t the update many will want to hear. As your Students’ Union, you’ll want to hear more from us and we understand it’s frustrating. We will continue to provide updates when we have more information, that we can share.

As a membership body, we are only as powerful as the voices students share with us. We are open to all students affected by this ongoing incident, or any which have happened beforehand, to contact us about their experiences by emailing yourunion@uclan.ac.uk.

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UCLan Students’ Union Statement: Racial & Anti-Semitic Incident

Racism and anti-Semitism still exist, impacting people every day – even in our own institution. More needs to be done to tackle racist and anti-Semitic attitudes, prejudice and hatred.

UCLan Students’ Union will always condemn racism, anti-Semitism or any form of hate. We will always; listen, offer support and empower the voices of those communities who continue to be targeted. Nobody should be targeted for being who they are.

We are aware of the ongoing situation across social media where students, our members, are sharing their experiences – recent and historical – of the racism they have experienced as Black students.

Since hearing about what happened, our Elected Officer Team immediately began reaching out to senior leaders at the University. We have asked the University for further information and raised concerns on behalf of students. These conversations are ongoing and will continue over the coming days.

We understand there is an ongoing investigation taking place which is following the current University procedures. We are independent from the University but will continue to work in partnership and have open, honest conversations about the procedures and we will provide feedback to the relevant University departments. We understand how some of our students have been failed after they raised their concerns and they felt overlooked by the University.

We cannot comment or know the details of the investigation due to confidentiality but be assured, the student voice is at the heart of everything we do and feedback on as a Students’ Union.

We know that actions speak louder than words and tackling racism and anti-Semitism is more than statements and changing profile pictures during awareness months. To better support our Black and Jewish students, real change needs to happen. Over the last year, our Elected Officer Team have run campaigns on Decolonising the Curriculum which focused on tackling the awarding gap and ‘Talking Matters’ which focused on mental health support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students. This is just the beginning.

There are several key changes we will continue working in partnership with the University and wider community on. To not only tackle racism and anti-Semitism but also better support our students and staff so they feel able to have open, honest and uncomfortable conversations.

We are urging the University to:

  • Review and implement any required changes to the processes surrounding the regulations for the conduct of students. Removing any opportunities for implicit bias that disadvantage students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
  • Raise the profile of the ways students can report racist and other hate incidents on and off campus, and ensure those processes are as accessible and robust as possible.
  • Work more closely with the Students’ Union in the implementation of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, bringing these action plans to life with the appropriate funding.
  • Commit to providing anti-racism, race equity and other anti-hate training programmes for students, UCLan Board Members, the Vice-Chancellor's Group, academics and professional services staff. 
  • Ensure that any reports of racism and discrimination are taken seriously and dealt with in a timely manner, with the sensitivity they deserve, by trained staff.
  • Ensure students reporting racist and other hate incidents are kept informed of ongoing investigations and assure that the University is taking their reports seriously.

Witnessing or experiencing any form of hatred is incredibly distressing and can significantly impact mental health & wellbeing. There are support services on campus and in the community that have specialist support staff and advisors who can provide support to victims and survivors of hate crimes or incidents.

 

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