‘Too many Asians’ and ‘brown ones’ written on Hallam library whiteboard

This latest case makes it four racist incidents in four weeks

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A racist message saying there were "too many asians" has been written on a whiteboard in a Sheffield Hallam University library.

A notice had been put up asking for student feedback on extra library staff being added to silent study areas, to which someone wrote: "Too many asians (brown ones)".

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The whiteboard was located on the second floor of the Adsetts library, by the computers near the stairs.

The Tab is currently working to identify the student responsibility for writing the message.

Millie Bithell, a Hallam student, spotted the message and reported it to the library. Millie told The Tab: "Me and a group of friends were leaving the library and one of them pointed out the message on the noticeboard and suggested wiping it off, but we decided that one of us should take a picture of it first to send to the uni and complain.

"I took a picture intending to send it to the uni, which I did on Twitter. But they didn't get back to me until I contacted the president of Hallam's BME society who helped me get it out a bit more on Twitter, ending up with the uni replying."

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The President of Sheffield Hallam University's Students' Union, Luke Renwick, issued a statement yesterday regarding the four racist incidents that have occurred over last four weeks in Sheffield.

In the blog post, Renwick said he is "concerned that there does not seem to be an investigation that has taken place," referring to the racist message left on the whiteboard, which the university has been aware of since 17th April.

Renwick also said the response from the university has been limited: "The only action on the university's part has been coordinating a statement and response which was communicated through social media channels."

Luke Renwick also urged victims and witnesses of hate crimes to report them to the Students' Union Advice Centre, and encouraged the student community to "call out and report hate".

As well as the message on the library whiteboard, a banana was thrown at a black Hallam student at Varsity and a member of staff allegedly referred to a black Hallam student as a "monkey".

A fourth racist incident in the library involving a staff member has also been passed on to the university, although specific details remain unclear at this time.

A protest over the University of Sheffield's handling of campus racism is taking place this Friday at 1pm outside Firth Court.

A Sheffield Hallam University spokesperson, said:

"The welfare and safety of our students is our priority. We pride ourselves on being a diverse, welcoming and supportive University for all our students. Racism and hate speech are absolutely not welcome in our University community and won't be tolerated in any form.

"The recent incidents that have taken place involving our students are in the process of being thoroughly investigated and where possible, action will be taken to prevent similar incidents from happening again. We are in direct communication with those affected by these incidents.

"We take any incident regarding racism, hate speech or other abusive acts extremely seriously. Incidents such as this will never be tolerated by the University and appropriate action will be taken against perpetrators where they can be identified.

"We offer support to all our students affected by these events, as well as to our wider student and staff body. We would urge our students to continue to report any incidents. We are in discussions with the Students' Union to ensure this support is available where needed alongside their own provision and so that further incidents of this nature do not occur.

"We have many initiatives in place for our students, staff and partners to raise awareness of the issues of racism and promote inclusivity and equality in our community."

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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