Bristol students can apply for extenuating circumstances following George Floyd’s death

Heads of Schools were emailed today

Bristol University has emailed Heads of School asking them to accept the “events relating to the Black Lives Matter movement” as an Extenuating Circumstance during this assessment period.

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, UG Education Officer at Bristol SU, made the announcement in a Facebook post this evening, saying it comes as a result of her conversations with the university on “the impact of the recent (and centuries-long) events of violence towards Black people”.

This means that students will be given special consideration by exam boards when grades and degree classifications are ratified.

This announcement brings Bristol into line with other universities around the country, such as Oxford, Newcastle, Warwick, University College London, Cardiff, and Sheffield.

In an email to Heads of Schools, university management wrote: “Schools should be aware that students may submit ECs around how events relating to the Black Lives Matter movement have affected them in the assessment period, and as with all ECs these should be reviewed with empathy and understanding, particularly around the profound impact this is having on some of our students.”

Gyebi-Ababio told The Bristol Tab: “I started lobbying for this specifically before both of us [Bristol Uni and Bristol SU] had put out our official statements on George Floyd’s murder and BLM.

“This was raised at Student Experience Committee along with the need for more extensive well-being support to help Black students deal with the trauma and impact of recent events.

“Thanks to Sarah Purdy and her colleagues, this provision was put in last week and confirmed officially today.”

Gyebi-Ababio started her role almost a year ago, having run on a platform including decolonising the curriculum, and she has also worked to increase support for black and BAME students throughout her term in office.

Former Student Living Officer, Vanessa Wilson, made a documentary exploring the mental health of black and BAME students at Bristol University, and shocking statistics show that BAME students are over fifty per cent more likely to feel like “no one will understand”.

Gyebi-Ababio said: “I hope that this will support affected students, and will be one of many steps the university is taking to support our Black and BAME students going forward.”

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