NUS officer branded ‘patronising’ for launching ‘National Have A Pint With An Immigrant Day’
Daniel Stevens wants to “challenge anyone considering voting UKIP”
Foreign students have branded the NUS International Officer “patronising” after he organised a ‘National Have A Pint With An Immigrant Day’ in a bid to “fight xenophobia with alcohol”.
Brazilian Daniel Stevens, the former President of the Warwick Student Union, said that the event was designed as “a challenge to anyone considering voting UKIP.”
But the reaction among international students has been mixed – while some welcomed the idea, others told The Tab they felt it was condescending.
One Australian student said: “I’d rather not be patronised by some native guilt pleb who wants to learn about my aborigine ways, thanks.”
A total of 800 people are already confirmed as attending on the Facebook event page, titled #HopsNotHate, which encourages people to “show their solidarity with immigrants by buying them a pint.”
Stevens, 21, told the Huffington Post: “The immigration debate has got incredibly toxic recently which is worrying because when you are talking about immigration you are talking about people.
“I think immigrants like myself are feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the way the debate is being conducted.”
With the Nigel Farage hype developing to new highs after he was egged in Nottingham last week, this latest development is sure to bring more attention to the controversial UKIP leader.
Stevens said he hoped Farage would attend: “I hope he talks to someone who has been directly impacted by the rhetoric of his election campaign and who feels uncomfortable about how the debate is being conducted.”
There have been mixed reactions from students across the country.
Nottingham international student Eleni Mitzali said that meeting up and talking about different countries and cultures was a brilliant idea.
“People generally seem to find the fact that I’m from Greece exotic and interesting, but I have received some looks when people first find out, because of all the crap we’ve been through,” she said.
“I find that there is going to be some difficulty when students don’t engage in each other’s cultures, for example when Greeks only hang out with Greeks, so this a great idea.”
However, 21-year-old Australian student Justin Guthrie disagrees. He said: “Wow, well this is a joke. I’m sure it’s well intentioned, but all Daniel Stevens has managed to do is continue to draw attention to the separation of the British ‘self’ from the immigrant ‘other.’
“I’d rather not be patronised by some native guilt pleb who wants to learn about my aborigine ways, thanks.”
Cambridge student Claudia Leong also finds it condescending. “This is so patronising! They might as well call it ‘Wow you’re foreign, tell me about your foreign ways’ day,” she said.
“It’s nice to know that every time I have predrinks with friends they’re expressing solidarity against UKIP.”
Gabriella Delgado-Rhodes, from Switzerland, said she “had never met a British person who actively didn’t want to be friends with international people, even whey they vote UKIP” and American Annie Newman said that although “she wouldn’t say no” to a free pint, she feels “perfectly accepted as an immigrant” and doesn’t really feel the need to have a pint with a Brit to say so.
An NUS spokesperson said that the event was in no way associated with the NUS.