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Black student referred to as a ‘monkey’ by Sheffield Hallam security staff

The university are investigating the incident

Sheffield Hallam University are investigating an incident where a black student was referred to as a "monkey" by a member of the security staff working at a university library.

The final year student, who's studying Childhood Studies at the university, had spent the day studying in the library but had to leave to go and get a book.

He returned around 4:30pm yesterday afternoon but realised he'd left his student card on his desk inside the building, so asked a member of security staff to let him in.

The student, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Tab: "I looked at the one of the security guards, he looked back at me saying: 'You’ve got to be kidding me'. He said that because I regularly forget my student card and so usually has to let me in, but that is because I suffer with ADHD and I’m usually quite careless with my stuff."

The student claims the member of staff then referred to him as a "monkey" when talking to a fellow colleague: "He proceeded to let me in then turned to his colleague as I walked away and said: 'You know I get reyt annoyed with that monkey,' referring to me as the 'monkey'. I was in complete shock and upset at the way he casually said it."

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The student told The Tab he intends to report the incident to Sheffield Hallam, and described the incident as "unacceptable". The student didn't say anything to the member of security staff at the time, but in retrospect said he realises something needs to be done to tackle this kind of racism.

"I intend to report the incident to Sheffield Hallam in the hopes they will deal with the situation accordingly because it is absolutely unacceptable. I let it slide in the hopes that it would not happen again but I was wrong and I realise that something needs to be done."

A Sheffield Hallam University spokesperson said: "Racism and hate speech are absolutely not welcome in our university community and won't be tolerated.

"We have been in contact with the student to offer our support and we have launched an investigation into the incident. No-one should be made to feel vulnerable, unwelcome or at risk.

"We continue to champion the importance of student wellbeing, the codes of behaviour and the fundamental right to respect and equality without prejudice.

"The alleged behaviour goes against our values of equality, diversity and inclusion and our pledge to foster a safe and inclusive environment."

The student said this isn't the first time they've been a victim of racial abuse at university, saying he has been referred to as a "black cunt" on a night out in Sheffield when he was in second year.

This is one of a number of racist incidents reported in Sheffield this year.

In January, Computer Science students at the University of Sheffield were forced to apologise after sending racist messages in a group chat.

This was followed last month by a racist incident at Varsity when a University of Sheffield student threw a banana at a black Hallam student. A protest over the handling of racism at Sheffield Uni is planned to take place this coming Friday.

If you've experienced racism at the University of Sheffield or Sheffield Hallam University please get in touch, we will keep your correspondence anonymous: [email protected]

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