Pembroke student proposes ‘White Majority Officer’
A woefully misjudged and offensive attempt at a joke
Yesterday a joke proposal was submitted to the Pembroke College Graduate Parlour (like a conventional MCR) for a "White Majority Ethnic Officer" to cater to the issues of white students.
This is apparently the result of "regular, sustained observation of the Pembroke graduate community." The document does indeed suggest that the proposal could garner a "knee-jerk reaction".
The University Press Office released the following statement subsequent to this article's publication in The Tab : "This proposal has been withdrawn and an apology issued for any offence caused. It was an ill-judged attempt by a BME student to highlight the disbenefits of having an BME officer in terms of highlighting differences rather than working towards integration."
It is worth noting that the Graduate Parlour neither endorsed nor proposed this measure. This satirical letter was submitted by one BME student acting alone.
This "proposal" was intended to restate the GP's "commitment to principles of diversity and inclusion". The document states that if there were a White Majority Officer they would be able to "make white voices heard" at Graduate Parlour meetings.
Unsurprisingly, the joke proposal has already been met with backlash, one commenter highlighting that 'BME issues aren't a joke.'
The President of the Graduate Parlour, Sofia Ropek Hewson, informed The Tab that it was "a satirical letter from a BME student (who has since apologised unreservedly and retracted it)."
She clarified that this transpired to be a joke submission to a dossier about the election of a BME officer for the Pembroke Graduate Parlour. The BME student who submitted it apologised unreservedly for this poorly judged attempt at humour.
BME officers are in place to voice BME issues and aid in access and welfare. The recent shutting down of the Robinson x Newnham BME Open Mic Night exemplifies failures within the university towards BME students.
So even though this was a joke it is in extremely poor taste. In satirising the issue BME issues are trivialised and students are silenced.
EDIT: A further comment from the University Press Office has been added.