Bristol

Bristol University students demand action against racism

University of Bristol
Image caption Students were said to have been 'targeted and humiliated' by Bristol University staff members

Students at the University of Bristol have demanded action is taken to deal with what they describe as daily incidents of racism on campus.

In an open letter, the students' union said students had been "targeted and humiliated" by senior members of staff.

It called on the university to undertake an "independent, external review of institutionalised racism".

A spokesman said there was "no place for racism at Bristol University" but accepted there was "more work to do".

In October, a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission said racial harassment was "a common occurrence" for many students in England, Scotland and Wales.

Professor Judith Squires, deputy vice-chancellor at Bristol University, said in response she wanted her university to be a "community where everyone feels safe, welcomed and respected, regardless of race".

But according to the university students' union, there are "known instances of racially motivated aggression on our campus, in our classrooms and in our halls".

Racist images

It added: "The nature of these incidents includes frequent uses of offensive language in seminars and lectures; students being targeted and humiliated by senior members of academic staff; and racist images appearing in halls of residences.

"While these are the cases we know about, we also know that racist incidents occur daily, and that these incidents are underreported."

Among a number of demands, the union called for the Runnymede Trust to investigate "institutional racism" at Bristol and take disciplinary action against "staff and students who have perpetuated the hostile environment for BME students".

The university said: "We have been working actively with the students' union to ensure our commitment to inclusion, diversity and equality is reflected in all aspects of our university.

"We know there is more to do, and we are committed to continuing to work in partnership with students and staff on these important issues."

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