Soton student makes petition asking the Uni to ‘do more to tackle racism’

It says: ‘They need to show they are taking active steps to prevent racism within their institution’

A petition has been made, asking the University of Southampton to do more in tackling racism and diversity.

It says the uni needs “to be transparent with their students and show they are taking active steps to prevent racism within their institution”.

The petition says: “The university should also have a clear, zero-tolerance policy toward students/staff who commit racist acts”. It links an article showing which UK universities have received formal racism complaints in the past five years. In total Southampton has received 12 complaints, two of which were upheld.

The petition cites racist incidents at the university, in particular drawing attention to the investigation into Mayflower FC last year, in which it was concluded a group of students believed to be singing a racial slur were actually singing a player’s nickname.

At the time, the University released a statement, which said: “The investigation has concluded that the racist word was not used, and the students were actually singing the nickname of one of the team members.” The University said auditory and technology experts were used to work out exactly what was said in the video, and the investigation’s conclusion was based on these findings as well as interviews with people who had been on the bus.

This petition comes after students accused the university of being “performative” and “disingenuous” in their response to the Black Lives Matter movement, earlier this week. In response to this, a University of Southampton spokesperson said: “As our statement this morning made clear, we stand against all forms of racism and are proud to be part of an inclusive and diverse community in Southampton. We want all members of our community to be assured that any racist incidents or allegations of racism involving our students or staff will always be treated with the utmost seriousness and investigated as a matter of urgency.”

The petition makes reference to the university’s tweet, which said it has signed the Race Equality Charter. However, the petition says they “would like to receive communication outlining the exact plans for how the university aims to achieve this”.

It also asks for “further investigation of unconscious bias within all facilities held at the university”, and says: “The university also needs to address the extent that many of their courses are Eurocentric”, and instead should “decolonise” the curriculum.

You can sign the petition here.

You can sign this petition to teach British school children about the realities of British Imperialism and Colonialism.

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