Uni of Sheffield apologises to BME Committee and says they have “much more to learn”

The uni’s response to BLM has been labelled as “extremely performative”

The University of Sheffield has apologised to the BME Students’ Committee on Twitter and admitted they have “much more to learn, understand and do to improve race equality.”

They also deleted a tweet that provided a link to the BME Committee site, following criticism from student groups over the uni relying on unpaid student volunteers to handle racism.

The deleted Tweet

The Committee wrote: “By tweeting from the university’s official account that the university is here to ‘listen and support you’ and following up the second part of that tweet by putting the Student BME Committee at the top… we have been placed as the first port of call.

“Whilst we volunteer for these roles and give up our energy, the current global political climate is draining for the committee, its black individuals in particular who, receiving no support themselves, are asked to support others in this indirect and thoughtless manner.”

They said that the Tweet proved wrong the university’s claim that nobody wants them to “bear the burden of any more emotional and psychological work.”

It comes after the Committee called them out in a thread on Twitter, saying that their response to the BLM movement had been “extremely performative.”

Within the thread, they wrote: “There are building feelings of disappointment when it comes to the university’s attitudes towards the welfare of its Black and BME students as well as its way of dealing with situations and incidents which are traumatic for those groups.

Acknowledgement is little consolation, merely reasserting our fears that BME individuals are not a priority for the University of Sheffield. They appear to acknowledge their black students directly when there is a hashtag and an audience involved – this rings out as extremely performative.”

The University of Sheffield declined to comment.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Sheffield student starts petition to remove ‘racist’ Winston Churchill from banknotes

• In pictures: Thousands come together for Sheffield Black Lives Matter protest

Sheffield Hallam Men’s Football Society is running 300 miles in support of the #Black Lives Matter movement

Featured image credit: SWNS.