Sheffield Uni told us police are investigating the racist incident at Varsity, but they aren’t
The university have admitted to being ‘clumsy’ in their handling of the situation
The University of Sheffield has today admitted there is currently no police investigation into the Varsity racism incident, despite telling us four days ago that there was.
In a statement given to The Tab, the uni said: "Both the Students' Union and University will fully cooperate with police who are investigating the matter."
However, South Yorkshire Police have since told The Tab: "A complaint has not yet been made to police."
The police did say they were aware of the incident and that it has been reported to the uni, and the university are currently investigating the incident.
When we went back to the university to clarify whether their original statement was correct, a spokesperson admitted that it wasn't, saying: "From our perspective, it’s just a bit of clumsiness of words in terms of suggesting in our original statement that it was a formal investigation."
The university have also revealed a potential error in the statement given by the Sheffield University Hockey Club (SUHC), when responding to allegations that a member of their club was responsible for throwing the banana at Tyrell Pearce.
In their original statement, SUHC told The Tab: "We notified the university of the incident, and it is currently under investigation by the university."
However, the university have said the hockey club notified the SU, not the university. The Tab have contacted the SU to verify whether the hockey club did notify them of the incident and when exactly this report was made, but we have not yet heard back.
It has been two weeks since a Sheffield student threw a banana at Tyrell, with the response from the parties involved now underlined by these incorrect statements.
The handling has come under significant criticism from students who remain unconvinced by the university's response, which Sheffield Uni today defended.
What are you doing about your 2nd major racist incident by a student ?
Protect ACS students and do something.
— Ella (@ellaelllll) April 1, 2018
University investigates claims of racism after banana thrown at black graduate https://t.co/53nPkAZh4B
— Haj (@Misshagy) April 4, 2018
@sheffielduni @SUOfficers @shefunistudents @SheffieldSU @ShefUniNews What a disgraceful act from one of your students. Hoping to see swift action taken on this. Culprit needs to be identified and expelled. https://t.co/VvyiX271cN
— Mitali Sen (@mitali_nisha) March 31, 2018
The university said: "Our response to this situation has been as swift as we can do. We haven’t had a formal complaint made to the university from the victim either. His friends weren’t actually present when the incident took place. We’ve put them in touch with our campus police officer as well.
"We are trying to identify and work with the sport clubs to try and find out who it was. We have made very clear in the statement both from our perspective and the SU perspective that it is not behaviour we tolerate or consider to be acceptable."
The university insist they "absolutely" will cooperate with the police if a full investigation is launched.
With the university's own investigation currently ongoing, a number of things remain unclear, including how long the investigation will last, and if or when the student responsible will be named publicly.
Any student affected or worried by this incident can be advised to contact Central Welfare and Guidance for support and guidance [email protected] or tel. 0114 222 4321. The Student Advice Centre in the Student Union also offers guidance to students [email protected] or tel 0114 222 8600.
Do you have any information about this incident or know the student responsible for throwing the banana? Contact us anonymously by emailing: [email protected]