SU ‘fast-track’ Omar Chowdhury probe as groups slam ‘be like Israel and cease to exist’ comment
The SU’s new BME officer went on an unprovoked rant below a Bristruth
Bristol SU are 'fast-tracking' the investigation into the newly elected BME officer who told a Jewish student to "be like Israel and cease to exist" in a Bristruths comment.
In a sign of the SU treating Omar Chowdhury's remarks with seriousness, an external investigator has been brought in, rather than a member of staff, as usual.
Meanwhile, Bristol's JSOC have said they hold "no confidence" in Omar's ability "to represent the interests of minorities on campus."
Omar Chowdhury told a Jewish student to "be like Israel and cease to exist"in the comments section of a Bristruths post. He also told the student their opinions were “like Israeli settlements: always popping up where they aren’t wanted”.
Chowdhury was elected as the new chair of the BME network on the basis of a manifesto with a "Zero Tolerance on racism" policy.
Now, the SU have launched a probe into his comments after a complaint was received.
The SU's Equalities officer, Sally Patterson is pushing for the investigation to be fast-tracked, telling The Bristol Tab she believes that "It's bad for the wellbeing of all students involved for this to drag on". It's hoped that an outcome is reached within a couple of weeks.
Normally, complaints are dealt with by a staff member. However, the SU have taken the step of drafting in an external investigator.
In a statement, Bristol JSoc slammed Chowdhury as "clearly unable to" tackle racism, saying his remarks "caused discomfort among many Jewish students."
They said they have "no confidence in Omar in his duty to represent the interests of minorities on campus."
Anti-semitism training was, in fact, run for as many SU staff as possible before Christmas and was said by organiser Sally Patterson to be "really, really successful".
However, anti-semitism training is not in place for elected officers – the SU are planning to introduce anti-semitism and islamophobia training for all members of the SU from next year onwards.
An SU spokesperson said: "We became aware of Omar's comments on social media last week and have spoken to both students involved. An investigation is currently taking place under our code of conduct (our disciplinary procedure).
" Bristol SU takes such accusations extremely seriously and will investigate fully and confirm the outcomes with both the students involved."
The Bristol Tab have contacted Omar for comment.