Students Slam ‘Sexual Segregation’
UCL launch investigation as storm continues to rage
The storm over ‘sexual segregation’ at UCL continued today with the issuing of a statement on behalf of ‘concerned students’ who criticised the university and the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) for enforcing the policy.
As reported by The Tab yesterday, Professor Lawrence Krauss threatened to walk out of the event “Islam vs Atheism” after three males were threatened with ejection for failing to comply with the policy of segregation.
It has emerged that Fiona McClement, UCL equalities and diversities advisor, stated last Friday that “UCL will not permit enforced gender segregated seating” and that “all attendees are free to sit wherever they feel comfortable”. This came after IERA suggested before the event that seating would be arranged “according to when the ticket was booked and gender.”
Despite these assurances segregation was still enforced on the night, as men were not even permitted to enter the building through the ‘women’s’ entrance, with entry to the event organised by UCL security staff. One organiser, Dr Aisha Rahman, even suggested that segregation had been agreed with the university in advance, in contradiction of the statement issued by Ms McClement.
In the statement issued earlier today, one of the students threatened with ejection, Christopher Roche, stated that he was removed from the room when he tried to sit in the same row as women attending the event.
“I was immediately instructed by staff to leave the theatre,” he said, adding that he was then taking to a room and told that the policy was given by IERA to UCL. After stating that he wished to return to his seat he was informed that security would now remove him from the premises.
Another student, Adam Barnett, was also told to leave having sat in the ‘women’s section’ and claims that, after he refused, there was an attempt made by UCL security staff to “physically remove” him. This was only stopped by the threat of Professor Krauss to leave the event.
Barnett today demanded an apology from UCL, stating that “For a London University to allow forced segregation by sex in 2013 is disgraceful.”
“It’s insulting to be told that because I’m a man I can’t sit near women in the audience” he added, whilst another attendee, Chris Moos, said that he found the event “intimidating for both male and female students.”
UCL has launched an investigation into the event, stating that gender segregation at events on campus is “directly contrary to UCL policy”.
A statement issued by the university says that it was “immediately made clear to the organisers that the event would be cancelled if there were any attempt to enforce such segregation”.
The subsequent attempts at segregation have, UCL state, shown that IERA’s interests are “contrary to UCL’s ethos” and, whilst investigations continue, the university has decided that it “should not allow any further events involving them [IERA] to take place on UCL premises.”