Cardiff’s new and old SU presidents are having a big racism row on Facebook
It’s all kicking off
A racism row has broken out between outgoing SU President Fadhila Al Dhahouri and her successor Jackie Yip.
A racism debate was sparked when Fadhila accused Jackie of erasing her legacy by deleting her posts from the SU President Facebook account.
Fadhila also accused Jackie of deleting her old posts about anti-racist and anti-Islamophobic issues first, before deleting all of Fadhila's previous posts.
Jackie Yip took over the official SU President Facebook account from Fadhila Al Dhahouri at the beginning of July. Following this, she deleted all the posts her predecessor made on the account. Previous posts are not normally removed.
Jackie explained her decision in a Facebook post where she said she has been accused of racism and Islamophobia since her election by people dissatisfied with the results.
However, she said this criticism has come from people who have actually been racist towards her, saying she has been called a "self-hating BME" and an "oreo". She said she deleted posts to start the year with a fresh slate.
Fadhila responded, saying Jackie is "trying to frame me as a racist". She claims words Jackie claimed have been used about her such as "oreo" and '"self hating BME" were actually used by Fadhila in a Facebook post about UK MP Sajid Javid.
She told The Cardiff Tab: "Jackie's supporters have been circling a screenshot with myself using these words, but the article about Sajid Javid MP."
Fadhila told The Cardiff Tab that after the election she was bullied by "students and staff" based upon rumours that she had targeted Jackie.
After the deletion of the Facebook posts, Fadhila has launched a social media campaign asking for her posts to be reinstated, an apology from Jackie Yip and for people to complain to the SU.
Fadhila told us she encouraged people to be respectful when holding Jackie to account, but added: "Perhaps people found out she was the only officer in my team who did not sign the open letter demanding the university sort out its institutional racism."
When approached for comment, Jackie Yip said: "The fact of the matter is that Fadhila and I had a massive relationship breakdown over the past six months as most people would have witnessed, Fadhila and I attempted to resolve our differences over mediation, but unfortunately, we didn’t make much progress."
"This was not a racist or Islamophobic attack, it was two people disagreeing with each other and I wanted a clean start from that. I don’t want to go into it, the student body deserves better than to have this aired in public. There are no rules against deleting posts, and I’m sorry if some are unhappy with the decision I took."
Fadhila Al Dhahouri said: "I am deeply hurt by the SU for continuing to dismiss my experiences and allowing a culture of bullying to persist inside the Union. The students need to firmly hold the SU management to account and ensure the record of elected officers is upheld and to fix its democracy.
"Any self-respecting President would apologise properly. Jackie's actions have eroded accountability and transparency, whilst giving zero reassurances to students of any real solutions or alternatives."
When The Cardiff Tab approached the Students' Union for comment on the Facebook post deletion issue, a spokesperson for the SU said: "Facebook accounts are set up for officers to utilise as a communication tool if they wish, there are no rules or policies in place that outline how these accounts should be transitioned between post holders.
"We are aware of the current allegations being made and are facilitating a complaint in accordance with our procedures."