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UBLHC vow to 'continue to push for changes' in response to SU apology

The University of Bristol Ladies Hockey Club have criticised Bristol SU for 'inaction and lies' following the SU's apology on 21 March.

By Amelia Jacob, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The University of Bristol Ladies Hockey Club (UBLHC) have posted a statement criticising Bristol SU for 'inaction and lies' after they apologised to the club for their outdated code of conduct.

The statement follows the club's protest during Derby Day at Coombe Dingle on 20 March, where UBLHC players walked off the pitch protesting the 'SU's failure to address' their open letter 'properly'.

UBLHC published an open letter on 5 March calling for the SU to update their code of conduct, citing the inability of societies to suspend members who are subject to an investigation for sexual assault.

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In response to UBHLC's protest, the SU published a statement on 21 March apologising for the 'distress and hurt' caused to students by their current Code of Conduct.

In the apology, the SU stated they 'are taking the concerns that UBLHC have raised very seriously and are fully committed to taking urgent and positive action.

'We want to unreservedly apologise for the fact that our code of conduct is out of date and has been for some time. We are incredibly sorry and saddened that this has led to a loss of trust and that students have felt unsupported around sexual violence.

'This contradicts what we stand for and it’s clear that you’ve been let down by how we’ve handled this. We will do all we can to address this and regain your trust in time.

'We understand the deep frustrations of UBLHC and respect their right to protest.  We have had and are continuing to have meetings with their representatives and we want to thank them for continuing to engage with and challenge us on this.' 

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The update advised that the SU have directly apologised to UBLHC representatives and stated when SU reaffiliation opens, student leaders 'will not be asked to sign our current code of conduct.'

In a post on Instagram on 21 March, UBLHC claimed that over the course of 10 hours of meetings with the SU, the CEO did not attend.

They also claim that during these meetings the SU made five false claims, 'all of which have been disproved by email receipts or the Vice Chancellor.'

The SU have contracted out UBLHC's complaints to a third-party HR company.

Today, 24 March, UBLHC posted a statement on their Instagram account saying they 'acknowledge and appreciate' the SU's update.

However, they commented they 'are committed to ensuring the change we want, and students deserve, happens.

'While we’re acknowledging their statement, we will not be content until we see the changes put in place. As part of this, we think as students, we deserve full transparency.'

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'An apology without subsequent action is meaningless. The SU’s promises of “urgent action” ring hollow when met with inaction and lies.'

The statement explains the campaign is 'the culmination of over a year of silently enduring systemic issues within the Student Union' and that the SU has 'consistently turned a blind eye' to the club's concerns.

UBLHC claim that 'no member of SU staff has had training on sexual violence'.

They also state that 'the code of conduct includes a slur' and 'as a trans inclusive club, we find it abhorrent that our members must sign the SU code of conduct.'

The club repeat they 'stand firm' in their 'commitment to holding the Student Union accountable and ensuring that promises are met with tangible action', demanding 'transparency, accountability, and genuine efforts to address the systemic issues plaguing our community.'

'We will continue to push for the changes necessary to create a fair and inclusive environment for all students. Together, we will not rest until our voices are heard and meaningful change is achieved.'

The full statement from UBLHC can be found here.

What do you think of these updates?