Cambridge academic refuses to teach students in protest of ‘racist’ porters

Dr Gopal will specifically not teach at King’s College Cambridge

A Cambridge academic is refusing to teach students at King's College Cambridge in protest against its porters who she claims are racist.

Dr Gopal, who teaches in the Faculty of English, was referred to as "madam" by King's porters, despite "Dr" being the expected term in the workplace.

On Twitter, Priyamvada claimed that the porters said "I don't care who you are" to her, in a "rude, belligerent and aggressive manner, which included shouting and finger-wagging".

She describes this experience and previous ones over the years as "consistently racist profiling and aggression".

Dr Gopal tweeted two days ago, saying she's no longer willing to supervise any students at King's College, as she wants to stand up for herself and other people of colour at Cambridge.

She went on to say how BAME students at King's College have reached out to her saying they are aware of the racial issue at the college.

Dr Gopal told The Times that she felt "the term 'madam' was being used mockingly and dismissively" and claims she explained to "the gatekeeper out front and then the head porter" that she was a senior member of the university and a fellow at another college.

Priyamvada has continued to tweet about the event, and says she's received hate emails and abusive messages following the incident.

When asked for a comment on the situation, a King's College spokesperson said: "We have investigated the incident and found no wrongdoing on the part of our staff.

"Every visitor was asked to show their card during the course of that day, as the College was closed to everyone except King’s members.

"Non-members such as Dr Gopal were asked to take alternatives routes, around the College. This was a matter of procedure, not discrimination.

"King’s College is a rich and diverse community, and take the wellbeing of its students and staff extremely seriously. We remain committed to being an inclusive and welcoming environment in which to work and study.

"We categorically deny that the incident referred to was in any way racist."

Cambridge are already in the spotlight after it was revealed that a tiny number of black students are admitted, with some of their colleges having no black students in the last three years.

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