By Ed Southgate, co-Editor in Chief
Antisemitism on campus must be combatted 'for good', Bristol SU's Equality Liberation and Access Officer told the NUS National Conference last week.
Sally Patterson, who was passing a motion designed to make tackling antisemitism a priority, told the conference: 'Our Jewish students feel unsafe. There is still ignorance when it comes to antisemitism'.
She urged: 'We cannot afford for it to fall off the long list of motions that we won’t have time to discuss. It’s time to show solidarity with Jewish students now'
It comes as it emerged that Bristol SU's incoming BME Officer told a Jewish student to 'be like Israel and cease to exist' in a comment on Bristruths.
An independent investigation is currently underway looking into his remarks, which could result in anything from having to issue a formal apology to no longer being a member of Bristol SU.
So pleased that two motions, combatting Islamophobia and combatting antisemitism, have been passed during the first hour of National Conference! Thank you for your solidarity #NUSNC19 pic.twitter.com/6fYQFYExsd— Sally Patterson (@salpatz) April 9, 2019
Sally's motion, which passed almost unanimously, resolved for NUS to re-affirm its commitment to tackling antisemitism on campus, and to encourage SUs to host antisemitism training provided by the Union of Jewish Students.
It also established that there is a 'problem with antisemitism in the NUS and the student movement', and that more must be done by NUS, SUs and Higher/ Further Education to combat it.
She urged the conference to prioritise racism in all its forms over current infighting in the NUS. 'How can we go back to campus, look our students in the eyes and tell them that we didn’t have time to combat racism?', she said. 'That we had the opportunity to stand in solidarity and show true allyship, but instead we prioritised bickering and infighting?
'Through actions not words, vote for this procedural motion and let’s start combatting antisemitism for good.'
The NUS National Conference is the key policy making event of is year, with some unofficially estimating it was attended by 700 students from across the UK.
Featured image: NUS