Trustees uphold SU's original verdict on Omar Chowdhury



By Maddy Russell, News Editor

The Trustee board has upheld the original verdict but made some additional recommendations.

A meeting of Bristol SU's Trustee board has upheld the original decision made by the SU in May, to allow Omar Chowdhury to remain in his role as Chair of the BME Network for the upcoming academic year.

The news follows a report by Epigram that an independent review by the SU had concluded that Chowdhury's comments to a Jewish student, in which he told him 'to be like Israel and cease to exist,' were antisemitic but that he should still be allowed to remain in his role.

An appeal against the verdict was later launched by Bristol Students Against Anti-Semitism.

In a statement to Epigram, a spokesperson for the SU said: 'Following the outcome of the independent investigation into the antisemitic comments made on social media in April 2018 by the incoming Chair of BME Network, Omar Chowdhury, an appeal was lodged to Bristol SU’s Trustee board.

'After careful consideration, the Trustee board has upheld the decision of the original review group, which found Omar’s comments to be antisemitic, and has made some additional recommendations.

'The board also wishes to monitor progress against the original recommendations made, including a development plan for Omar and him adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism, by receiving termly reports during 2019/20. Omar’s formal warning about future conduct remains in place.'

As part of the aditional recommendations made, the Trustee board has requested that a working group is established. The group is to include members of JSoc, the Bristol SU Equalities Officer, the Bristol SU Chief Executive and independent experts in this field and will work to 'ensure that Jewish students can raise concerns easily and effectively throughout the year, and shape Bristol SU’s work and campaigns to combat antisemitism.'

The SU also confirmed that it remained committed to tackling antisemitism on campus and that it planned to ensure that all SU officers and chairs of networks received antisemitism training.

Featured Image: Epigram/ Patrick Sullivan

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