Lincoln SU club nights to censor the N-word in songs after pressure from BLM group

The uni is also enforcing ‘unconscious bias training’

The University of Lincoln SU has made the decision to censor the N-word during SU club nights after pressure from a university group trying to highlight institutional racism within universities.

The student-led project, LIBCO (liberation-coordinations), composed over ten thousand words on how the University of Lincoln and the Student Union can be better allies, following their statements on Black Lives Matter.

Since then, talks between LIBCO and the uni and SU have led to multiple changes being promised, including unconscious bias training, the appointment of a racial complaint officer, and censoring the N-word in SU club nights.

Naomi Ngondi, one of the four students leading this project, told The Lincoln Tab: “The purpose of this is not to blame and shame, rather have these uncomfortable conversations and move towards a fair and equal system for all. As uncomfortable as senior leaders or white people are having these conversations, black people are subjected to an uncomfortable existence.”

Having sent the 10,000 word document to both the SU and the university, LIBCO was invited to video-call meetings with each organisation.

Naomi told The Lincoln Tab that within the meeting with the SU, the SU confirmed that they will be taking action based on focus groups that they have conducted. They also told the group that they will be appointing a racial complaint officer, and have been speaking with an independent candidate that they feel will fulfill this role well.

The SU also said that they will be offering workshops on unconscious bias, which will also be available to those outside of the University.

They have ensured that the N-word will now be censored on Student Union club nights. Rihanne Morris, another student leading the project, tried to push for this in her role as BAME officer two years ago. (The University of Lincoln reassured The Lincoln Tab that the process of making these changes has been in the works for a long time.)

The group then went on to speak with Liz Mossop and Simon Parkes from the University of Lincoln. In the meeting, Naomi says that it was agreed that the University will be more aware of the way in which they use the term BAME, as to not over-generalise.

They also told the group that they will be offering training to students and staff on unconscious bias, and training to their wellbeing staff on how to be culturally competent in the support that they offer.

Additionally, they told the group that they will be setting up a student advisory, to help them with any anti-racism projects, and to help them to be more active in their response to social justice matters on social media, too.

LIBCO also highlighted how there need to be steps taken to not only decolonise the curriculum but to make it more inclusive. Naomi also said that the university ensured they were committed to doing so.

The group also highlighted the attainment gap, which indicates that black students get 26.2 per cent less of the higher grades than their white peers. Naomi told the Tab that they were assured that there will be a focus on closing this gap.

The University of Lincoln and the Student’s Union said in a joint statement: “We are delighted to continue collaboration with students and staff in discussing how, as a community, we address racial inequality. It is important we continue our work together to help inform decisions and best practice. We have made it clear we stand with the black community against racism, discrimination and injustice and we are committed to numerous ongoing and developing projects including curriculum changes, appropriate educational resources and addressing educational awarding gaps.”

LIBCO have started a petition to show support from the student body for these institutional changes, which you can access here.