Activism, Campaigns and News, Politics and Society

Warwick SU has a racism problem


Warwick Students’ Union is institutionally racist. For 24 days, we, Warwick Occupy, have been eating, sleeping, working and organising in the three SU rooms that we have occupied, and we will not leave until our demands are met. The SU has made it exceedingly clear that it doesn’t care about its Palestinian, Black, Brown and Muslim students. We are a broad anti-racist movement that was established following the SU’s approval of a talk by an IDF colonel, sponsored by the racist Islamophobic organisation ‘StandWithUs’.

As it stands, our racist Students’ Union cannot represent students of colour or effectively lobby the university to do the same.

We have rigorously reviewed our SU by-laws, policy documents, democratic processes and the implementation of the external speakers policy, doing the work expected of paid SU officials to radically reform the SU’s wholly inadequate internal processes. Consistently we have found inefficiency, differential access to services on the basis of race and religion, and a commitment to supposedly “apolitical” and “neutral” values. However, we know that to be “apolitical” remains a political position as it reinforces and reproduces dominant power dynamics. We know that silence is the compliance with and perpetuation of an often racist status quo.

Over the past 24 days we have had several meetings with SU representatives including members of the Sabbatical Team, the SU Senior Management and the CEO himself. In these meetings, we expressed our disappointment, frustration and indignation at the failures of our SU as it relates to students of colour.

In a meeting yesterday (6th December, when original statement was written), we were confronted with disregard and contempt as the Sabbatical Team continued to refuse our earliest demand that they release a statement condemning ‘StandWithUs’ for its Islamophobia. This is despite us having provided our SU President, Ben Newsham, with screenshots and video footage documenting instances of doxxing, harassment and Islamophobia against members of the occupation, incited by ‘StandWithUs’ and associated persons on campus.

Ben Newsham claims it is impossible for the SU to release a statement supporting targeted student occupiers because the SU, a Union, supposedly cannot take a political stance. Since we are students of colour, apparently our existence is too ‘political’ for our SU to defend. Student Unions are under no obligation to be ‘apolitical’ entities; this is a conscious decision by our President to ignore our voices and dehumanise us.

Ben Newsham is mostly silent in every meeting we have. It is clear that in these negotiations the SU is opting for a racialised divide and rule strategy, constantly putting two Black Sabbatical Officers opposite us in meetings and leaving the majority of the negotiations to them. In meetings, these two Black women are encouraged to detail the anti-racist work and activism which they have done in their own capacity, based on their own mandates. This work is then claimed as the successes of the entire team and leveraged against us as alleged proof to delegitimize our claim that the SU is institutionally racist.

It has become exceedingly clear that Ben Newsham is uncomfortable sitting across from students of colour holding him accountable. He tailors meeting times, cutting them short or delaying them, according to the availability of Sabbatical Officers that can do the talking for him as a way of avoiding personal responsibility and accountability.

In meetings, when he does speak, it is only to claim that the Sabbatical Officers are restrained by various structural bureaucratic barriers and an ‘ineffective’ system as a way to deflect from personal responsibility and to not implicate himself and others as complicit in the racism of this institution. Though we recognise that our struggle is with systems not with individuals, administrators of this system do have agency. In denying this, the SU President is himself complicit in the racism of this institution.

We will remain in this building for as long as it takes for this SU to represent us in a way that is satisfactory as per its own mandate. It is looking like this will be a Christmas Occupation.

Merry Occupation, and an Anti-Racist New Year!



Name University Position
Jay Kinsella University of Warwick Co-President of Operations, Warwick Pride
Akosua Sefah University of Warwick External Liason Officer, Warwick Anti-Racism Society
Josephina Abuah University of Warwick Vice President, Warwick Anti-Racism Society
Brian Muraya University of Warwick Creative Director, Warwick Anti-Racism Society
James Lythall University of Warwick Campaigns Officer, Warwick Pride; Biomedical Science Course Representative
Nathan Parsons University of Warwick Disabled Students’ Officer
Bede Pharoah-Lunn University of Warwick Women’s Officer
Danya Aburass University of Exeter Friends of Palestine
Kimia Talebi University of Warwick PR officer, Warwick Anti-Sexism Society
Lucy Rebecca Mooring University of Warwick Communication officer, Warwick Friends of Palestine
Angie University of Warwick President, Arabic society
Isaac Loose University of Warwick Internal Campaigns Co-Officer, Warwick Labour; Warwick SU Societies Exec Member
Mana Shamshiri University of Bristol Co-president, Friends of Palestine; Campaigns Officer, BME Network
Hanan Almatan University of Bristol Vice President, Friends of Palestine Society
Aminah Saleem University of Warwick Welfare Officer, Warwick Labour
Tasnim Chowdhury University of Warwick Islamic Society Executive
Jess Hughes Manchester Metropolitan University Former President, Warwick Pride 2018/2019
Susan Aneno University Of Kent President, Kent University People Of Colour Arts Society
Daniel Sheldon University of Warwick Social Secretary, Warwick Pride; Warwick SU Societies Exec Member
Keziah Dean University of Warwick SSLC Chair, PAIS
Batool Dahab McMaster University President, McMaster Muslims for Peace and Justice
Esha Volvoikar University of Warwick BME Officer, Sexpression
Hadeel Himmo University of Warwick Campaigns Officer, Warwick Friends of Palestine; Academics Officer, Arabic Society; Decolonise Project Advocate
James Butler University of Warwick NUS Representative
Clariece Leong University of Warwick Vice President and Welfare Officer, Argentine Tango Society
Hannah Corsini University of Warwick Internal Campaigns Co-Officer, Warwick Labour
Dania Igdoura McMaster University President, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights McMaster
Declan Dadzie University of Warwick LGBTQ+ Officer, Warwick Anti-Racism Society
Amin Lmoh University of Warwick Secretary, Warwick Labour; Chair, Warwick SU Welfare Exec
Magiesha Maheswaran University of Warwick Tamil Society Executive
Precious Okoye University of Warwick Non-Law Officer, Law Society Exec; Sociology SSLC rep; Student Agent Officer
Janice Obiri-Yeboah University of Warwick Co-President, The Black Women’s Project
Larissa Kennedy NUS NUS National Executive Council
Prisco University of Warwick Warwick SU Trans Students’ Officer
Kate Foy University of Manchester Disabled PTO, Manchester SU; President, Manchester Disabled Society
Hannah Jones University of Warwick Associate Professor
Chantelle Lewis Goldsmiths PhD researcher; Co-host and Programme Director, #BlackinAcademia Podcast at Leading Routes
Taylor McGraa   Fomer Sabbatical Officer, Goldsmiths
Fraser Amos University of Warwick Co-Chair of Warwick Labour, Chair of Warwick SU Development Exec
Fope Olaleye NUS Black Students’ Officer, NUS
Dr Nicole Beardsworth University of Warwick Post Doctorate, PAIS
Sara Abdel Ghany University of Warwick PhD Candidate
Staci Okai Coventry University Creative Director
Sophie Taylor Goldsmiths College, University of London Editor, Factory magazine; News Editor, The Leopard
Rebecca Fox University of Warwick Treasurer, Warwick Anti-Sexism Society
Mary University of Warwick PR & Media Officer, Warwick Anti-Racism Society
Liv University of Warwick President, Warwick Anti-Racism Society
Joy Edegware University of Warwick Nigerian Society exec
Michael University of Warwick Events Coordinator, African and Caribbean Society
Lucy Moorsom University of Warwick Communications Officer, Warwick Labour
Shay Runsewe University of Warwick Co-Editor, Black Womens’ Project
Lorraine Mintah University of Warwick Secretary, East African Society
Nazifa Zaman University of Warwick Deputy Chair and BAME Officer, Warwick Labour; Advocate, Decolonise project; Warwick SU Arts Faculty Rep
Ademola Anjorin University of Warwick Former President, Warwick Anti-Racism Society
Nahil Al Zuhaika University of Toronto Mississauga Association of Palestinian Students Executive
Tom Barringer Queen Mary University of London Staff member
Andrew Williams Lancaster University Interim General Secretary, Lancaster University Labour Club
Saleha University of South Florida Marketing Officer, USF Pakistani Students Association
Kieron Warren University of Warwick Democracy Executive Member
Aleema Gray University of Warwick PhD Student; Museum Curator
Akvile Krisciunaite University of Oxford, Warwick alumnus Former Vice President, Warwick Sociology Society
Omar Chowdhury University of Bristol BME Officer
Kayleigh Crawford University of Manchester People & Planet UoM
Nana Osei Kofi University of Warwick Freshers’ Rep, ACS
Hussain Abass University of Bristol President, Islamic Society
Syirah Ami University of Bristol Chair, Women’s Network
Taj Ali University of Warwick Ethnic Minorities Officer; Advocate for Warwick Decolonise Project
Amin Abdelaziz University of Warwick President, Friends of Palestine
Eloise Harris Queen Mary University of London Chair, Queen Mary Labour Society
Emmaliane Nyarko University of Bristol Academic Liaison Officer, SU Wellbeing Network
Harriet Hards University of Cambridge Incoming President, Emmanuel College Students Union
Maryam Zafar University of Nottingham Social Media and Welfare Officer, Pakistan Society
Jacob Loose SOAS Co-President, Oxfam Society
Eseosa University of Warwick Decolonise Project Advocate
Mashiyath Qurashy Queen Mary University of London BAME officer, QM Labour Society
Joe Heath University of Cambridge Vice-President, King’s College Student Union
Dr. Katja Laug University of Warwick Tutor and Fellow
Rosa University of Warwick Publicity Officer, Sociology Society
Wafiya Thoba University of Toronto Mississauga Secretary, Syrian Students’ Association
Sharif AlSughair University of Warwick Vice President, Arabic Society
Eunice Adeoyo University of Cambridge President, King’s College SU
Patrick Scaife University of Warwick Executive, Friends of Palestine
Zach University of Warwick Freshers’ Rep, Friends of Palestine
Tyra University of Warwick PR & Media Officer for CCS and BWP
Dr. Sue Blackwell Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Lecturer
Leanne Mohamad King’s College London KCLAP Committee
Eren Delaney University of Warwick Bi+ Officer, Warwick Pride
Cecily Blyther Petroc Chair, UCU Petroc; UCU’s NEC Member
Sahara Pandit University of Oxford President, Queen’s College Medical Society
Tam-lin University of Warwick President of Strategy, Warwick Pride
Rene University of Warwick Co-President of Operations, Warwick Pride
Tony Greenstein Brighton & Hove Trades Union Council Vice President, Brighton & Hove Trades Union Council
Paula Green City University of London Executive Assistant, Associate Deans & SLO
Angela Dy Loughborough University Senior Lecturer
Lujain Assaf Northwestern University in Qatar Ambassador, Future is Female
Zeid Truscott Bath SU Politics & Activism Lead
Shadi Abdelaziz Aston University President, Friends of Palestine
Karim El-Houssami University of Sussex President, Friends of Palestine
Zakaria Islam University of Warwick Events Officer, Pakistani Society
Alba U. Roman University of Aberdeen President, Palestine Society
Tanim Hussain University of Leicester Campaigns Officer, Palestine Society
Karim University of Leicester President, Palestine Society
Fiona Sim Goldsmiths Student Trustee
Johanne Kellberg University of Aberdeen Treasurer, Palestine Society
James Whitfield University of Warwick
Michael Grant University of Exeter  
Mohammad Amin Queen Mary University of London  
Jack Billington University of Warwick
Laura Reyes Pollak University of Warwick
James Holland University of Warwick
Georgina Lord University of Warwick
Ky Hall Birkbeck
Sabera Begum University of Warwick
Yousef Abdul-Fattah University of Leeds
Archshana Portsmouth University
Tahmid Khan University of Warwick
Stephanie Ryland University of Warwick
Nathan LSE
Sahil Marwah University of British Columbia
Louis Coustets University of British Columbia
Erin Geraghty University of Warwick
Deen Ali University of Warwick
Grace UBC
Laura lunn-bates Middlesex University
Michael Salvo
Amir Hamza University of Warwick
Shahzor Nisar Royal Holloway University
Yasmin Rahman University of Warwick
Phoebe Greenwood University of Warwick
Rosey University of Warwick
Ibraheem Khalil University of Warwick
Hannah Seaman University of Warwick Alumnus
Sarah University of Warwick
Marrium University of Warwick
Trinity Awelo University of Warwick
Eliana L University of Exeter
Joshua Hatcher University of Warwick
Marija Gavrilenko University of Warwick
Hasan Aziz University of Warwick
Haleemat Yahaya University of Warwick
Angel Boateng University of Warwick
Amal Bider Goldsmiths University
Jack Pepin College of West Anglia
Esther Adebiyi University of Warwick
Josh Delve King’s College London
Sapana University of Liverpool
Shemia Brunel university London
Hamza Qazi University of Warwick
Nadia Yahya Hafedh Goldsmiths, University of London
Fatima Al Setri McMaster University
Ebun University of Warwick
Nida Mahmud University of Warwick
Fey Kapur University of Warwick
Saira Faruq
Ameerah Harriffudin University of Warwick
Mikai McDermott LSE, Unvierstity of Warwick Alumnus
Frank Godden University of Warwick
Kate University of Warwick
Haaniyah Angua Oxford Brookes University
Molly Wilson-Smith University of Warwick
Graeme Smith University of East Anglia
Tyrone Boukman Academy
Nicola Pratt University of Warwick
Rianna Walcott King’s College London
Yasir Yusuf University of Warwick
Jack Bell University of Warwick
Fintan Owens
Schabnam Saied University of Liverpool
Mariam Albinfalah University of Warwick
Saifur Rahman University of Warwick
Freddie Cox Aberdeen University
Mohamed El-Shewy University of Warwick
Lediana University of Warwick
Myriam Atassi University of Warwick
Alezandra Udueni
Annine Ngesang University of Warwick
Angel Boateng University of Warwick
Ebube Epsom College
Jordane Oso University of Warwick
Yeukai Jiri University of Warwick
Erhumu University of Warwick
Laurine Mukoko-Kunda University of Warwick
Roufiat University of Warwick
Daniella Iriah University of Nottingham
Millie Jacoby University of Warwick
Joseph Holland University of Bristol
Jamie Houghton Cardiff University
Tomi Amole University of Warwick
Anisha Dhaliwal
Camilla Pitton
Kevin Mensah University of Warwick
Memoona Ahmed University of Oxford
Cass P University of Warwick
Sumaya Al-Dabbagh Yeditepe University
Tomaso Roche University of Essex
Tamar McPherson University of Warwick
Finn Fallowfield University of St Andrews
Maia Hauser University of Sussex
Thomas Turner University of Exeter
Kinga Kowalewska University of Warwick
Nada Mosbah Bahçeşehir University, Turkey
Oluwadunyin Olesin University of Warwick
Megan Whitney University of Warwick
Humayra University of Warwick
Nia University of Warwick
Caroline Hawkins University of Sheffield
Rebecca Williams University of Warwick
Benjamin Bright-Davies University of Warwick
Eve Farthing University of Exeter
Amal Malik University of Warwick
Tommy allwright University of Nottingham
Humza Khan Cardiff University
Isobel University of Bristol
Chloe Lambdon University of Warwick
Roxanne Douglas University of Warwick
Grace Pascoe University of Nottingham
Alexandra Bergstrom Katz Birkbeck
Joe Barraclough Goldsmiths, Univerdity of London
Majidha University of Warwick
Imogen Dale University of Kent
Muireann Crowley University of Edinburgh
Samreen Inam University of Bristol
Luke Tyers University of Bristol
Huda Osman Georgetown University
Aisha Al Kuwari Georgetown University Qatar
Maryam Al-Sowaidi Georgetown University
Jawaher Georgetown University Qatar
Layan Al-Huneidi Texas A&M
Hibah Awan University of Bristol
Maryam al Khater Georgetown University
Noora Al-Thani Georgetown University SFS-Qatar
Sana Mahmud University of Bristol
Shaza Afifi
Sarah Abdul-Razzak Georgetown University
Ronaldo University of Warwick
Shaikha Al-Thani Georgetown University SFS-Q
Emily slender University of Warwick
Alanah Maw
Gianluca SSML Palermo
Thomas Clay-Michael Brunel Univeristy London
Nadifa Mohamed Bath Spa University
Tulay Marashli University of Warwick
Conover Cox University of Maryland
SC Chen Warwick University
Felix Manocha-Seymour University of Bristol
Ethan Duras University of Warwick
Sagal University of Warwick
Lucianne Baltrock-Nitzsche University of Warwick
Alia Allouh Georgetown University
Isabella Cedeno Uní of Leicester
Iman University of Warwick
Victoria University of Warwick
Iman Ismail Georgetown University Qatar
Zuzanna University of Birmingham
Alice Wang University of Warwick
Khayzaran University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Jasmine Roberts Loughborough University
Tala Haddad
Marion Dawson
Ian Tuan University of Warwick
Khalid Himmo University of Southampton
Hussein Middlesex University
Nisha Kapoor University of Warwick
Sivamohan Valluvan University of Warwick
Lili Harvey University of Warwick
Catherine Howe University of York
Lucy Curtis University of Exeter
Rosemary Carron
Noor Fraihat University of Warwick
Yasmeen TU Dortmund
Hissa Al-Kubaisi Georgetown University
Bilal Hussain Warwick alumni
Jenny Hardacre (Formerly) Anglia Ruskin University
Srutokirti Basak University of Oxford
Aqsa Lone
Ishtyaq nabi Warwick University
Enas Hamza University of Manchester
Aaliyah Faryal University of Manchester
Britney Bioh University of Oxford
Cherie Kwok Birmingham City University
Amirah University of Warwick
Arisa Loomba University of Oxford, University of Warwick alumnus
Seda Yilmaz University of Warwick
B Weightman WCS
Ayesha University of Warwick
Farhana Ahmed University of Warwick
Christina University of Warwick
Usman Malik University of Bristol
Sara University of Warwick
Ishrath Khan University of Warwick
Tania Ahmed
Maariyah vankad University of Warwick
Stefania Zgripcea University of Kent
Ayaan University of Warwick
Ayesha University of Warwick
Aatikah Essak University of Warwick
Isha University of Warwick
Ayub University of Warwick  
Ishtyaq Nabi    
Hamza Nawab    
Lanaire Aderemi University of Warwick  
Shubnum Sarodia Aston University  
Ahmad Joyan King’s College London  
Deen Ali University of Warwick  
Muhammad Nazakat King’s College London  
Waheed Ahmed Oxford University  
Bob Wolverhampton university  
Maisha Choudhury University of Warwick  
Umayr Sidat King’s college  
Shahzor Nisar Royal Holloway University  
Rajiul Aston University  
Akmal Coventry University  
Ali Aston University  
Awais Ahmad King’s College London  
Fahim Ali University of Warwick  
Sukhman Bains University of Warwick  
Yasseer University of Warwick
Rosie Whitehead University of Warwick
Julian Sadie University of Warwick
Aqsa Akhtar University of Warwick
Yasmin SOAS
Devlin Freeburn University of Birmingham
Yousef Abdul-Fattah University of Leeds
Hassan Abasi King’s College London
Sarah Lewo University of Warwick
Sid V