BLACK LIVES MATTER - JOINT STATEMENT
Joint statement on Black Lives Matter Follow Up Statement – Vice-Chancellor and the President of The Students’ Union
Friday, 5th June.
We would like to thank all students and alumni for sharing their thoughts, concerns and experiences with the Students’ Union and the University over the past few days. It has also been great to see the amount of support for the movement, and we are increasingly proud of each of you that has stepped up.
However, it is clear there is more we all can do to support our BAME students and staff – but we will only achieve this by working together.
We live in an unfair society, and we are keen to take action. To take steps forward and work with all members of the University community, from the Vice-Chancellor to the student body to ensure everyone understands the issues at hand and the differences we can make. White privilege can be blinding to those ignorant to their bias and circumstance. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” Martin Luther King Jr.
The University and Students’ Union have and always will have an open-door policy. We do not want our students to suffer in silence, feel threatened, unwelcome at the University. We want to support you and ensure you have the best University experience possible. We are here to listen, support and make change happen.
The Students’ Union has recently gone through a period of change and is looking forward to starting the academic year with a new officer structure. The structure allows for further in-depth participation and representation – to be your voice.
If you have complaints – tell us.
If you think that we can do better – tell us, but also tell us how we can do better.
By being constructive, we can make a wide institutional change, influence our peers, families and the children of tomorrow.
To quote Martin Luther King “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude”. So as we share our thoughts, debate viewpoints and defend those who do not have a voice, we must ensure that we maintain our integrity. We must stand tall, raise awareness, help educate and step forward to make a change.
Looking forward, we feel that changes can be made now, in the short and long term.
We believe that the following efforts could and should be made with immediate effect: we are intending to move our Unconscious Bias staff development training online to make it more regular staff development for ALL academic lecturers and professional services staff. We would like to develop a straightforward way for students to report racism to the SU and a better way for students to feedback on issues that need to be raised with the University.
Together we can make a difference.
Black Lives Matter.
Moyin Ekundayo UCSU President
Professor Jane Longmore Vice-Chancellor
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