UCL EFS President resigns after homophobic WhatsApp messages scandal

The committee member who sent the messages has also been removed

The President of UCL’s Economics and Finance Society (EFS) has resigned due to controversy after it was revealed that the Vice President of EFS had been sending homophobic messages to the fresher’s group chat.

The Vice President sent multiple messages to the EFS fresher’s Whatsapp chat where he seemed to encourage freshers in their group chat to breach COVID restrictions and join him at a UCL halls. He proceeded to label those who didn’t attend “gay” multiple times, and also called them “soft cunts”.

Since the messages were revealed EFS have made a formal apology on their platforms and restructured their committee. The committee member who sent the inappropriate messages has been removed from the society and the President of EFS,  has now also stepped down from her position. For the time being another member of the society will be acting as interim president.

A statement from EFS on the matter reads: “We have been made aware of incredibly upsetting comments made by a member of our committee on an EFS freshers group chat, who has since decided to resign from his position. The comments made were distasteful, wholly unacceptable, and contrary to the values of inclusion and acceptance that we at EFS hold dear.

“We want to extend our sincerest apologies to all people affected, and would like to assure you that measures have been taken to address the issue. The member involved is no longer a part of the EFS community and importantly, is rightfully being dealt with by both the Student’s Union and the University.

“His actions do not in any way reflect the attitudes and opinions of the society and its members.

“We recognise that we have an obligation to ensure that our members feel welcomed and comfortable in any activity that they engage in with us. We remain deeply committed to ensuring an inclusive and diverse environment.”

The society has received backlash for their initial actions following the incident on UCLove.

We spoke to the interim president, regarding EFS’ current situation and he stated:

“We love being transparent, and we’re all appalled by the actions of that one individual. He was removed immediately without question.

“We terminated the member from the society immediately. His comments are totally against the society’s Ethos. They violate our values. We adopt a zero-tolerance policy to such discrimination.
“The removed member has no association with the society now – and does not represent the actions of the 17,500+ combined members and followers of the EFS.
“We are also arranging a meeting with all offended, and are putting measures in place to publicly address concerns.
EFS has held LGBTQ+ events before, which the society will continue to host.”

UCL put out the following statement regarding the events which took place:

“UCL does not tolerate bullying behaviour of any kind and we will take appropriate action against any individual who is found to have breached our bullying harassment and sexual misconduct policies. These behaviours are unacceptable and contrary to UCL’s ethos and mission.

“We do not comment on individual cases. But we would like to reassure our community that both UCL and the Students Union UCL take complaints of this kind very seriously and will investigate them in line with our disciplinary processes and procedures. We actively encourage anyone who has experienced bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct to report this directly to us or through our Report + Support platform.”