Several Bristol students have come forward with stories about racial targeting during their time at the university.
The accounts have a date range from several years to just a few weeks ago, and were published in an article on The Tab on the 17th of January.
‘This was racism pure and simple.’
One student, under the changed name ‘Kelly’, released information about a group of white men walking past her and her friend making monkey noises and laughing.
She discussed it first on social media, according to anonymous friends, and then within the Tab article. ‘This racism was pure and simple,’ she said.
She added that she wished she had filmed them so that they could be identified, but the boys have yet to be named.
Bridget Smith, who commented on the article, said ‘This horrible… I hope this causes more people to speak up. In the UK we’re too afraid to speak up especially in our generation. It’s not a joke or banter…. there are other forms of humour, racism is not one of them.’
A commenter with the screen name ‘C*nt’ responded: ‘That’s what happens when do decide to go to a predominantly white elitist uni. Disgusted? yeah. Surprised? No.’
Other students included Timi, whose experience was heavily rooted in social media, to the extent where no media platform was left uncorrupted.
A snapchat was sent to Timi of a group of boys chanting ‘he swings where he wants’ and making monkey noises.
‘White elitist uni’
Dami, the third student in the article, claimed to have been introduced by a friend as ‘Dami – he’s black but he’s really cool’, among several other poignant accounts of racism throughout his time at university.
In response to allegations of racism within the university, a spokesman said: ‘We have a zero tolerance approach to any kind of hate crime and there are clear policies and procedures in place to deal with incidents of this nature.’
They went on to say that they ‘have no reason to believe there is a wider problem at the University. We have received no complaints about racist behaviour by our students through our formal Unacceptable Behaviour procedure in the past three years and we have only disciplined one student for misconduct involving racism during this time.’
The accounts came just days after news that Bristol police had tasered their won race-relations adviser.
— Sami (@Commodore_21) January 23, 2017
The SU officers criticised this response from the university. On January 19th, the team published a response on their website, including the statement: ‘We also take issue with the University’s statement that racism is not an issue on campus’.
Read Epigram’s coverage of the SU response here.
A Tab reader under the name of ‘TheChickenWing100’, despite their trivial name, left the article’s audience with a prominent thought: ‘[you] can’t get rid of the racism in unis before getting rid of racism in wider society which will almost definitely never happen.’
The university has encouraged anyone who had experienced ‘such behaviour to seek support from an appropriate member of staff.’
Is this a regular occurrence in your experiences of university? Let us know in the comments or on social media: