Cardiff Uni release statement regarding the murder of George Floyd
Students have labelled the response as “quite frankly pathetic”
Cardiff University have now released a statement regarding the murder of George Floyd, an incident which has sparked worldwide protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Students had previously criticised the university for not speaking out in support of the movement immediately.
The statement released yesterday calls the “death” of George Floyd “a tragic reminder of the systemic issues and challenges facing society”. They also state that the university is committed to being a community where “everyone can be themselves and flourish”.
The death of George Floyd is a tragic reminder of the systemic issues and challenges facing society. We're committed to creating a community based on dignity, courtesy & respect. Racism and discrimination have no place in our modern society.
— Cardiff University (@cardiffuni) June 3, 2020
The statement concluded by saying: “We are resolute: racism and discrimination have no place in our modern society”.
However, students have since criticised the statement, calling it “vague” and “pathetic”.
People have responded to the statement on Twitter, with one user referring to an incident in 2017 where a medical school production portrayed a lecturer as a “hyper-sexualised black man”. The production included jokes surrounding race and sexuality, and resulted in thirty-two students being suspended after complaints.
.@cardiffuni Remember when white med students (now doctors in the NHS) Black-faced? Remember when Black students told you it was not ok? Remember when you protected the white students? Remember when you refused to release those apologies written by the white students? https://t.co/G8l4uGZ6ql
— Natasha Chilambo (@tashachilambo) June 3, 2020
Many students emailed the Vice-Chancellor, Colin Riordan, seeking support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and have revealed that they received the same statement as a reply.
Meg Terry, one of these students, describes this as “awfully disappointing”.
Meg, a first year English and History student, told The Cardiff Tab that “the fact that the Vice-Chancellor decided to respond to me before responding to the president of the African and Caribbean Society is ridiculous” and makes her feel as if the university don’t really care about the movement.
Shash Appan, a former Cardiff Met student and local BAME and LGBT+ activist, expressed her disappointment as she told The Cardiff Tab: “Colin not only calls the murder of George Floyd a ‘death’, he also doesn’t acknowledge the systemic racism in academia and especially the systemic racism within Cardiff Uni itself”. Shash goes on to call the statement a “paltry response” as they showed “no solidarity with the black community protesters” and “didn’t do anything to actually help the BLM movement” as no specific services towards black students in Cardiff Uni have been provided.
Sophie Anderson, another student activist, told The Tab Cardiff: “I’ve been told previously by the Vice Chancellor that the university ‘is not a campaigning organisation’ but that is not an excuse for remaining silent or giving sweeping, neutral responses”. She added that she finds it “hypocritical and quite frankly appalling” that the university have given such a vague response to such an important issue.
She states: “I am not proud to attend a University who, under current management, fail to sufficiently speak out against such injustices”.
The Cardiff Tab have reached out to the university for a comment.
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