Students call out ‘racist’ Bournefessions post about coronavirus in Oxford Point

‘It’s poorly concealed Xenophobia piggybacking on the coronavirus scare’

A Bournefessions post asking if anyone has caught coronavirus from Oxford Point has been criticised for “casual racism.”

Oxford Point, located in the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth, has a high population of international students. The post read: “Has anyone got coronavirus from Oxford Point yet?”

“It’s poorly concealed Xenophobia piggybacking on the coronavirus scare,” Sukhpriit Kaur Gil, who reported the post, told the Bournemouth Tab. “I think the people running the platform have responsibilities towards the readership. Are they posting because they’re promoting these ideas or is it sheer ignorance?”

The admin of the page told The Bournemouth Tab posts are filtered “to a degree,” adding: “If at any point somebody feels offended or hurt by a post we’re always here to message and will always reply with a fair response. A majority of the time a post will be removed if it’s clearly upsetting.”

At the time of publishing, the post is still live on Facebook.

Amber Rose Hugues, who commented under the original post, told The Bournemouth Tab people use coronavirus as an excuse “to ostracise those with Asian heritage from our society.”

She said: “It’s disgusting and is especially hard for the international students who are staying in student accommodation here, having come from overseas.

“As they are most probably homesick and adapting to a new way of life as it is without the added pressure of this increased racism.”

“It’s important to hold the page to some form of accountability because unchecked ignorance later forms the basis of negative narratives, misinformation, divide and misguided hate,” Rupi told The Bournemouth Tab. “University is a time people remember for the socials, the university culture and inclusivity.

“I can’t imagine what some people reading the post must think. Is that representational of a large group of people at uni? Am I not welcome?

A Bournemouth University spokesperson told The Bournemouth Tab: “While there is no way of knowing whether the users of such anonymous pages are connected to the BU community, we absolutely will not tolerate any abuse or harassment, as reflected in the university’s Hate Crime Policy.”

A Bournemouth student was reported to have been tested positive for coronavirus earlier today.

Featured image via Instagram (@oxfordpoint)