EXCLUSIVE: Racist incidents at the University of Exeter have more than doubled in the last five years

There have been 18 reports of racism since 2012

The issue of racism has been one that has permeated through Exeter this academic year. From an antisemitic image being carved into student accommodation to “white power” being doodled on a door, xenophobia has been a contentious issue on campus. Although these acts by no means represent the entire populous of Exeter racism is clearly an issue that we need to address.

A request for information from the University, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, provides an insight into Exeter’s experience of racism over the past five years for both staff and students. The information deals with three primary questions.

1) How many complaints were made to the university over racism.

2) How many students were disciplined for racism, and how many students were disciplined for racism towards other students.

3) How many university staff were reported for racism, and how many were disciplined as a result.

The following was released to us upon an FOI request to the university:

From this information it’s evident that there have been as many reports of racial abuse this year as the three previous years combined. Worryingly, over the past five years the number of University staff being reported for racism has consistently been higher than that of students.

It must be stressed now that this information represents the number of complaints as well as the number of disciplinary actions. In all cases of reported racism the number of disciplinary action taken by the University has been lower than the rate of reports. Regardless, 18 incidents of racism in five years is not acceptable.

The issue of antisemitism on campus has already been reported to deter some Jewish parents from sending their children to study here.

Some could argue that this is a small minority causing the issue however, this is all the more reason to take a hardline on the problem. Racism, whether it be in the minority or not, must be nipped firmly in the bud. As a University that is largely regarded for its large intake of international students everyone has the right to feel welcomed and accepted.

Featured image courtesy of University of Exeter’s flickr.

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