Racist Nottingham Trent halls chants: Everything we know so far
The investigation is still ongoing
On Wednesday night, Rufaro Chisango, a Nottingham Trent fresher, posted a video on Twitter, in which racist chants of “blacks and whites were never meant to be together” and “sign the Brexit papers" were heard inside a halls of residence.
The two 18-year-old male Nottingham Trent students arrested by police looking in connection to the "vile" incident, have now been released.
The Tab have been on campus speaking to students and staff about the incident. The investigation is still ongoing, but here is everything we know so far:
5th March 2018
Racist chants are heard at a Sandby Hall flat pre-drinks
On Monday night, in a flat of 28 mixed boys and girls in Sandby Hall, two men were heard shouting racist obscenities and chants.
They shouted: "we hate the blacks", "sign the Brexit papers" and "Say ooh, ah f**k the blacks."
Rufaro also claims they chanted "black would go back to picking cotton", which the video wasn't able to catch.
Someone recorded a part of the incident on their phone. They were in their bedroom, behind a locked door. Rufaro posted this video:
We went down the Sanby Halls and found out from students living inside the block, that the incident happened during a flat pre-drinks before a Pom Pom's Trent social night "Dirty Mondays."
Another flatmate is heard arguing over the video to the two men. The students The Tab spoke to outside Sandby Halls, told us she's a mix-raced first year student who is close with Rufaro.
Rufaro informs the front office security of the Sandy halls about the incident
The two men and the rest of their friendship group left from the halls and at 11:30pm.
Rufaro then went down and informed the front office security of the Sandby halls.
They did nothing at the time and told her the situation would be dealt with on Tuesday morning.
6th March 2018
Rufaro tells ACS at Nottingham Trent of the incident on Tuesday morning
The Tab spoke to a third-year member of the Nottingham Trent ACS society. He told us that Rufaro messaged on the ACS fresher group-chat, which has 50 members.
She sent three paragraphs detailing the incident and her worries about what else might follow the chants.
She also expressed her anger over the University's silence. The members of ACS told her to report the incident to the police.
7th March 2018
Rufaro posts a thread on Twitter, which includes the video of the incident
She captions it: "Yoo I’m fuming, the way people in the same uni halls as me are chanting “we hate the blacks” outside my bedroom door.
"Words cannot describe how sad this makes me feel, in this 2018 people think this is still acceptable?"
She directs her tweet at the official Nottingham Trent University account and asks why nothing has been done when she reported it to the University immediately after it happened.
The tweet gains small traction on Twitter, with around 300 retweets at 10pm on Wednesday night. We're the first to report on it.
At 2am, a group of students arrives looking for the perpetrators after seeing the video
Later into the night, at 2am, a group of students arrived looking for the perpetrators after seeing the video of the abuse posted in group chats and on Twitter.
Sandby security allowed them to sit in the kitchen and deescalated the situation. They left at 4am.
By the morning, the tweet has 13 thousand people retweeting and 17 thousand liking the original video Rufaro posted on Twitter.
Within four and a half hours at 10:30pm, she receives a reply from David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, directing her to inform the police and her local Nottinghamshire MP about this incident.
At 11:30pm, the Nottinghamshire Police reply to her tweet telling her to contact police.
Thirty minutes later, and two days after she contacted security about the incident, a representative from Nottingham Trent University informed her that "we are investigating this as a matter of urgency".
8th March 2018
Police report to Sandby Hall, securing the perimeter of the building
The two 18-year old male students implicated in the racial incident on the night of the 5th of March are arrested and brought to local police station at 8:30am.
Police arrive and secure the perimeter of the building. The local forces surround the inside of the hall, getting statements from everyone as they knocked on residents’ door to wake them up.
One Nottingham Trent fresher from Sandby told The Tab she was in bed and thought it was her flatmate waking her up. She shouted: "Fuck off", but behind the door the voices replied: "It's the police."
The police were seen driving residents to the local police station to interview and get statements about the incident.
Residents in Sandby Hall were unable to attend lectures as police were keeping tight perimeters within the building.
A gag order is placed on all Sanby Hall residents by the police, to not disclose the identities of the two arrested in connection to the incident
The police place a gag order on all Sandby Hall residents ordering residents to not disclose the identities or incriminating evidence of the two arrested students.
They are not allowed to leave the building, only for cigarette breaks, which is when were able to catch them.
Once the students gave a statement, they were allowed to leave the building.
Nottingham Trent University release an official statement to The Tab:
“We are shocked and appalled to see the video of racist chanting posted yesterday evening. This kind of vile behaviour will not be tolerated at Nottingham Trent University. Those suspected perpetrators have been suspended immediately pending a full investigation. We have contacted the student who made the complaint and are providing support to her and others affected. And we will be liaising with the police about this incident.
“We value being a diverse global community, with staff and students from across the world.
“We are also working with our accommodation partner to understand why the University was only alerted to this on Wednesday evening after this was reported to them in the very early hours of Tuesday.”
Local Nottinghamshire news present outside hall, national media outlets including the BBC, Huffington Post and Sky News are seen at SU building.
The University admits fault in "significant delay in dealing with this incident"
Prof Eunice Simmons, deputy vice chancellor at NTU, admitted: "There was a significant delay in dealing with this incident and that is completely unacceptable.
"We have apologised to the student concerned and are looking at how this could have possibly slipped through the net.
"This kind of vile behaviour will not be tolerated at NTU."
The university has offered Ms Chisango alternative accommodation, Prof Simmons added.
Nottingham Trent University staff receive emails from the University regarding the incident
The email, sent by Trent's Chief Operating Officer and Registar, Steve Denton, was forwarded to all staff, including part-time and full-time SU staff. It reads:
Many of you will have seen and heard reports in the press this morning regarding a video posted on social media of alleged racist abuse taking place at a halls of residence.
The contents of the video are shocking and the behaviour is completely unacceptable. I know that you are all very proud about working at our University, and that you will have been as dismayed as I was about this incident.
We are in regular contact with our student who made the complaint and are providing support and assistance.
Those suspected of being involved have been suspended immediately and we have begun an investigation. We are also cooperating fully with the police, who have rightly launched a criminal investigation and have made arrests.
It is clear that there have been delays in dealing with this incident by both our accommodation partner and the University. We will work together to review our processes to ensure this never happens again.
We are communicating with students and our partners to keep them updated with the action that we are taking and details of how they can access support if needed.
TV and news crews are broadcasting from across the City Campus today so if you or your colleagues receive any enquiries from the media, either by email, phone or in person, please direct them to the press office on 0115 848 2355 in the first instance.
Chief Operating Officer & Registrar
Nottingham Trent ACS society issue a statement
The NUS states these experiences are "common" across the country and it has been "going on for decades".
9th March 2018
Two men are released by Nottinghamshire police
The two men have been released by Nottinghamshire Police, but the investigation is still ongoing.
An 18-year-old woman was also interviewed in connection with the incident which took place on Monday night.
Nottinghamshire Police said she "attended a voluntary interview and was questioned under caution". All three people have been released pending further inquires.
The next steps for police are to continue their inquiries, but they aren't expecting updates imminently.
They are continuing to speak to witnesses over the coming days and are working closely with the university.
The two male students are banned from campus grounds
A spokesperson for Nottingham Trent University has told The Tab that despite the boys' release, the students remain automatically banned from campus grounds.