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!

WARWICK OCCUPY

 

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
Ayan
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
Tsuki
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
Demi
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
Ellya
Will
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
Hamad
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

 

 

Activism, Campaigns and News

In Solidarity with Goldie Osuri

#StudentsWithGoldieOsuri

We, the undersigned, are a collective of students within the Warwick Sociology department who have been taught by or had contact with Dr Goldie Osuri within a personal or educational capacity. We vouch for Dr Goldie Osuri not purely because of her character, but because it is within the interest of remaining honest and factual to do so. Having either attended the lecture in question or reviewed the lecture content after the fact, we believe that the mischaracterisation of Dr Goldie Osuri as antisemitic is untrue and libellous.

 

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Goldie for the following reasons:

  • We believe that all lives are precious. That this includes Jewish lives which are always at risk of violence. That this includes Palestinian lives which are always at risk of violence.
  • We believe that Dr Goldie Osuri was fair to recognise both of these aforementioned facts in her lecture.
  • We believe that Dr Goldie Osuri handled the topic with deliberate care, knowing the controversial nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict and, consequently, using precise language as to not diminish anyone’s lives or contribute to anyone’s dehumanisation.
  • We believe that the conflation of the policies of the state of Israel with the opinions and/or political ideologies of all Jewish people is antisemitic. This is something that Dr Goldie Osuri went to extra lengths in the lecture to remind us, providing several disclaimers at various points in the lecture in a manner that can only be described as overly-cautious.
  • We believe that critique of Zionist rhetoric – rhetoric which sometimes seeks to erase, obscure and invisibilise Palestinian lives – is not antisemitic. In this case, Dr Goldie Osuri provided academic and researched critique of Zionist rhetoric as it relates to transnational media ecologies in a measured and careful manner. In no way could her analysis be considered antisemitic. In fact, these critiques were re-articulations of transnational social media discourses, not her own political opinions.

 

We, the undersigned, stand in opposition to the mischaracterisation of Dr Goldie Osuri. We believe that this mischaracterisation has gone far enough. We do this for the following reasons:

  • We believe that the increasing criminalisation and penalisation of discussing the realities of Israel-Palestine in an academic context is dangerous to all our freedoms as oppressed people, minorities within this institution, and sociologists.
  • We believe that technological surveillance – which ironically was a topic within Dr Goldie Osuri’s lecture – is not just abstract theory, but a reality for many people, especially scholar-activists of colour who are in search of collective freedom and justice.
  • We believe that this surveillance which disproportionately penalises scholar-activists of colour leaves us prone to precarity, violence, and silencing. In fact, we believe that the fact that Dr Goldie Osuri was subject to such surveillance is evidence of her prowess as an academic, since what she articulated as theory is being demonstrated to us in real time.
  • We believe that students are students, not police officers or Prevent agents or border guards or agents of a hostile surveillance state and/or surveillance market.
  • Following from this, we believe that the attempt to a) record specific selected sections of Dr Goldie Osuri’s lecture, b) decontextualize the content, and c) leak this (mis)information to the national press, was the action of a student who took offence to the lecture material. Though we cannot ‘know’ whether said student(s) was acting in a deliberately malicious intention due to their own inability to handle the well-documented facts of Israel-Palestine, we can collectively condemn the actions of said student. Indeed, it is within our best conscience to do so.
  • We believe that said student(s) had the opportunity to contest the content of the lecture during the lecture, after the lecture, and within the seminar. In fact, it is within Dr Goldie Osuri’s mild-mannered and humble nature to welcome comments, critiques and opposing thoughts. Instead, said student(s) went straight to a national news outlet. Other avenues they could have pursued involve: raising concerns with the lecturer directly, filing a complaint, or speaking up for what they believe in – something we the undersigned often manage to do for ourselves daily in the face of (micro)aggressions.
  • We believe that we are part of the same community with our teachers, including Dr Goldie Osuri, with a common unifying goal: free decolonised accessible knowledge for all people at all times.
  • We believe that we are part of the same community with our teachers, including Dr Goldie Osuri, resisting similar attacks against our education: the commodification, marketisation, and securitisation of our learning.
  • We believe that none of us are free until all of us are free.

 

We, the undersigned, draw attention to the following facts:

  • The module which Dr Goldie Osuri teaches is concerned with ‘Transnational Media Ecologies’.
    • The quote used in the notes about Palestinian resistance ‘by any means’ – for clarification – is a quote by Hamid Dabashi (2014). Dr Goldie Osuri used this quote to highlight the differing narratives between the mainstream media and the ways in which Palestinians resist (not reducible to terrorism as Hamid Dabashi argues).
    • There is a group called Jewish Voice for Labour who argue that the claims of anti-semitism against the Labour Party are orchestrated. When Dr Goldie Osuri spoke of a lobby, she was not presenting an argument or a fact, she was specifically referring to the ‘transnational connectivities’ between Israel and the UK with reference to the example of the Labour Party. She made this clear in the lecture. You can read more about Jewish Voice for Labour here: https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk
    • Dr Goldie Osuri also quoted Israel Zangwill (1901), a British author at the forefront of cultural Zionism, “Palestine is a country without a people; the Jews are a people without a country”. This was conveniently left out of the news article written about her lecture. The point was to include different popular discourses surrounding Israel-Palestine to highlight differing knowledges about a single conflict and how these knowledges are represented and disseminated in different media ‘ecologies’. These weren’t assertions, arguments or political opinions. She was doing her job, and doing it well.
  • Two members of Warwick University’s Jewish Israeli society who are leading the allegations of antisemitism against Dr Goldie Osuri are fellowship holders of the StandwithUs Emerson Fellowship. The fellowship is overtly about sending ‘trained pro-Israel’ student leaders to University campuses to create positive perceptions about Israel. It must also be mentioned that claims of islamophobia have been made against StandWithUs as an organisation. We believe that this information goes a long way toward explaining the kind of decontextualisation and misinformation that was being spread about the lecture and about Dr Goldie Osuri.  Here are some of the receipts for these claims:

–  In the same week that over 34 Palestinians have been massacred by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), a colonel from that same force is being allowed to speak on campus. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate who is ‘free’ to speak and what they are ‘free’ to speak about.

 

We call for student journalists, student societies and (national) news outlets to retract the lies made against Dr Goldie Osuri with unequivocal apologies. We call for the University to use this statement as evidence in support of Dr Goldie Osuri in any disciplinary proceedings regarding this matter.

 

For all of these reasons and more, we – the undersigned – stand in unwavering solidarity with Goldie Osuri! #StudentsWithGoldieOsuri

 

We, the undersigned:

Ademola Anjorin (Politics and Sociology)

Lucy Mooring (Sociology)

Lanaire Aderemi ( Sociology)

Precious Okoye (Sociology)

Majidha Jaman (Social and Political Thought, Sociology)

Tao Yang (Politics and Sociology)

Rebecca Fox (Sociology with Quantitative Methods)

Zainab Ilyas ( Sociology)

Sarah Michaels (Sociology)

Lucy Dunkling (Sociology)

Patrick Lees (Social and Political Thought alumni)

Sarah Staniforth (Sociology alumna)

Sarita Patel (Sociology)

Agatha Barker (Sociology alumni)

Neesha Nhika (Sociology)

Rhea Ebanks-Simpson (Sociology)

Soraya Momoniat (Sociology)

Helena Navarrete Plana (Sociology Alumnae)

Lea Lapautre (Sociology Alumnae)

Ella Hattey (Sociology Alumna)

Jay Kinsella (Sociology)

Hasan Aziz (Sociology)

Rain Girard (Sociology)

Summer Baillarger (History and Sociology)

Nooran El-Faki (Sociology and GSD)

Essyl Harding (Law and Sociology)

Georgina Lord (Sociology)

Amrita Purewal (Sociology)

Sasha Hailey (Sociology alumna)

Katherine S-Williams (Sociology)

Evren Uygun (Sociology)

Amy Porton-Bowden (Sociology)

James Whitfield (Sociology)

Azariah Chris Shane Bhatti (Sociology alumna)

Halimah Manan (History and Sociology alumna)

Hannah Ayres (Sociology PhD)

Simon Arthur (With granted permission by email- Phd student and sessional tutor)

Glenn Smith (History and Sociology alum)

Caryn Thandi Petersen (Sociology PhD and Transnational Media Ecologies sessional tutor)

Safrina Kumar Ahmed (Sociology alumni)

Harry Smith (Sociology alumni)

Alexandru Giurgea (Politics and Sociology)

Rachel Tan (Politics and Sociology)

Somak Biswas (Associate Tutor, Sociology)

Lorenzo Feltrin (Research Assistant, Sociology)

Marcel Obst (Sociology PhD)

Reflections and Healing

Un-braiding

by Chloe Batten

Enclosed for the winter. hibernation.

each strand runs through softly calloused hands,

firm, reassuring fingers whisper sweet nothings

to my newborn roots, like

warm honey. Chloe, Un-braiding image

enfolding strand

over strand, one leads, one hides,

one follows, one leads

one hides, one follows

all clinging to each other for dear life,

sworn to protect the hair they hold,

to incubate the soul that lies within

my newborn roots.

hibernation.

 

Don’t mistake synthetics

for dormancy. like a cocoon they hide

growth and beauty,

and they too will die.

but as spring melts winter’s spite

and warmer air beckons hair

outside the neat twists and folds,

I follow nature’s cue.

in cathartic ritual,

un-braiding plait

after plait,

old dead hair is laid aside.

my fingers run through soft curls,

and linger.

 

This is home.

the feeling after a deep sigh

when lungs resettle.

feels like warmth and peace

and honey. this is my soul.

like Aunty Solange reminds me,

my hair

it is the rhythm,

the feelings,

I wear.

 

 

Reflections and Healing

Chana Dhaal; a recipe 

By Sadia Ahmed

“For as long as I can remember, my parents have taught me that cooking is an expression of love.”

My parents taught me cooking for someone is an expression of a love. They taught me that peeling vegetables, frying garlic, soaking lentils, carefully spicing everything – making something hot and warm and filling with your hands is one of the best expressions of love. When my sister or I come home from university, you can bet that my mum has prepared a biryani for us. When I came home last year for the Easter break and I had announced, to their dismay, that I didn’t want to eat meat anymore, my dad went out and bought me paneer to make the next day. During those couple of weeks at home, he made me countless vegetarian dishes from vegetable lasagnes to haleem sans mutton. For as long as I can remember, my parents have taught me that cooking is an expression of love. I am never hungry around them. 

I have made a mess of my home kitchen many a time, attempting to poorly imitate my parents’ creations. The story isn’t much different at university. When my friends come over or when I’m experiencing pangs of homesickness, I tend to reach for familiar spices or dishes that leave you full and satisfied. One of my favourites is chana dhaal; I have prepared it many, many times this year. Here is a recipe that reminds me of home. 

ingredients:image1

  • 1 small white/red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 or 3 bird eye chillies, depending on taste 
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (I tend to use sunflower oil) 
  • 2 cups of split yellow lentils (washed and soaked in water overnight)
  • a handful of cherry/plum tomatoes 
  • small bunch of fresh coriander 
  • heaped teaspoon of cumin powder
  • heaped teaspoon of turmeric 
  • teaspoon of chilli powder
  • heaped teaspoon of coriander powder
  • teaspoon of salt 

recipe:

  1. chop onion and garlic cloves finely 
  2. heat up a pan with oil and add your chopped onion and garlic
  3. add teaspoon of salt and stir, leaving to sweat until garlic and onion starts to colour
  4. score chillies and add to pan 
  5. stir in spices and allow them to cook out for a couple of minutes (tip: add a little water to the mixture if it appears to be sticking) 
  6. add your soaked lentils to the pan, stir
  7. add one cup of boiling water to the pan, stir and cover, leave to simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes 
  8. chop your cherry tomatoes and add (note: if you enjoy a tomato flavour, feel free to add a tablespoon of tomato paste in addition) 
  9. stir regularly, gradually add another cup of water, until the consistency becomes thick
  10. finely chop coriander and stir in 2/3 of coriander along with a little water 
  11. taste! season with salt to preference
  12. sprinkle dish with the remaining coriander and take off heat 
  13. serve dhaal with rice, or chapatis, or both, or neither 

This recipe will comfortably serve five of your loved ones or you, five times over x 

Activism, Campaigns and News

Warwick Labour on Recent Claims in the Boar

We are concerned by some of the unsubstantiated claims made in the Boar about the inclusivity of our society, they are not representative of the experience of our members or of anything that has been said at Lefty Lattes.

We encourage all progressives to come along to Lefty Lattes, we have a range of interesting topics coming up and all details are available on our Facebook page.

Lefty Lattes is Warwick Labour’s weekly discussion event, there is a different subject for discussion every week picked by members, from how to combat anti-Semitism in the party to combating sexual violence on campus. We have specific policy for how our lefty lattes discussions are conducted, it is a non-alcoholic event, held in a wheelchair accessible location, where people are asked to treat each other with respect and to respect what everyone has to say. Prejudiced language is not tolerated, everyone is given an opportunity to share their thoughts on a subject with those who speak least prioritised and encouraged to contribute.

We also have a safer space policy, now enshrined in our constitution, which protects members at all events from prejudice and abuse, additionally, we have just introduced a welfare officer and will soon be launching a welfare inbox for members. We encourage people to contact us via the Facebook page if they have any concerns.

Uncritically reproducing claims from an anonymous survey of only 100 people, which is clearly unrepresentative and open to abuse, without even asking for comment on these claims is journalistic bad-practice par excellence and disappointing to see from the Boar.

Activism, Campaigns and News

our statement

Content notice: rape, racism and sexual violence.

 

We stand in full solidarity with the victims of the comments made in the group chat whose screenshots detailing misogynistic, rape apologist, racist, anti-semitic and ableist language were made public yesterday, as well as anyone who was affected by them. We are appalled by the behaviour exhibited in these chats, and understand it to be part of a broader epidemic of sexual violence in universities, where these comments and behaviour are normalised and even excused under the guise of ‘free speech’ or ‘banter’. This is no laughing matter, 62% of students have reported being subject to sexual violence at their time in university, with 8% of women graduates being victims of rape, twice as much as the rate for women overall in England and Wales (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/02/universities-rape-epidemic-sexual-assault-students). These comments cannot be defended under the right to privacy or under the banner of free speech. For far too long this language has been used behind closed doors without consequence, feeding these ideologies, allowing them to fester into abuse. This doesn’t just stop at written expression, it has drastic consequences as detailed above, which could severely affect the lives of many.

 

It’s time universities took this matter seriously, we hear in mainstream discourse that we need more education to change bigoted views, yet this abuse is being perpetrated by students attending renowned universities. We need more: we need a feminist education, a decolonised and anti-racist education which doesn’t shy away from challenging oppressive views prevalent in our society. Our marketised education system means our universities are more concerned with their public image and looking glossy and polished for prospective students, than actively putting out resources to prevent sexual violence and support the victims of it. (https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2015/feb/02/universities-reluctant-tackle-sexual-violence-fear-pr-fallout).

 

The university must take a firm and unequivocal stance against the violent sexist and racist behaviour encouraged within the group chat in question, this means holding every participant of the conversation fully accountable for what they have said. Moreover, some of the acts encouraged and praised in the chat involve violently raping and sexually assaulting women & girls and enacting violence against Jewish people and ethnic minorities. This goes beyond accountability and becomes an issue of safety, wellbeing and principle. This blatant disregard for the humanity and wellbeing of women and ethnic minorities, in addition to the promotion of real physical harm against these groups, means that these predators should not be trusted to return back to this university. They should be expelled to ensure the safety of those who they have callously threatened to rape, beat and brutalise.

 

If given the opportunity to remain in this university, these predators will have the access to obtain the societal privilege, power and wealth associated with having a qualification from Warwick. This power will enable them to act on their words in the future, enacting violence on at-risk people whilst being protected by privilege and money thus escaping accountability again and again. The university must end this cycle before it begins. If this university is claiming to be a diverse and inclusive space, it must send a clear message that it does not stand by these views. This should be done by removing and expelling the dangerous predators in question, according to their degree of involvement. They must be dealt with uncompromisingly and unapologetically – along with all other rapists, racists and rape enthusiasts.

 

Most importantly, we should not sensationalise this one incident: disciplinary action for these perpetrators won’t solve the wider problems that made this group chat possible. Sexism, rape apology, racism and antisemitism do not disappear by making these predators disappear. Racist discourses and rape culture will remain firmly in place on campus, in campus groups/societies, in our university accommodations, during our club nights and in wider society until institutions like our university become proactive rather than reactive. This University has failed to do this so far. Here are our demands of this ‘diverse and inclusive’ university:

  1. GET THE PREDATORS OUT.
  2. Make use of the resources that we already have surrounding consent. The #WeGetConsent campaign, amongst other thorough consent campaigns across campuses all over the UK, has great videos that must be distributed and made more visible to all Warwick students.
  3. Repurpose the Piazza big screen, currently used for endless and repetitive self-promotion videos played at students & staff that are already members of this institution, to play consent videos from the SU and other similar videos from liberation campaigns.
  4. Invest more money and resources into the anti-sexist and anti-racist campaigns that students have devoted so much of their time to despite a lack of adequate funding and institutional support. This involves greater support for victims and survivors of sexist and racist abuse.
  5. Enforce consent training and bystander intervention training for students and staff. Bystander intervention training was recently put on the curriculum for first year PAIS students, this must become part of the curriculum for all university departments.

 

We conclude this statement by urging all students to be dissatisfied with bigotry. When you encounter rape apology, sexual violence, misogyny, anti-semitism, nazi ideology, violence against minorities, racist rhetoric, islamophobia, white supremacy, LGBTQ+-phobias, ableism, classism and other forms of prejudice, we urge you to take a stand and speak up in whichever capacity you feel capable and comfortable. (https://www.warwicksu.com/advice/crime/hatecrime/) Do not let predators, violent misogynists and racists fly under the radar or go unchallenged. Sometimes this means exposing group chats like these to ensure the safety of marginalised groups.

 

Signed –

Warwick Anti-Sexism Society

Warwick Anti-Racism Society

Warwick Jewish Society

Warwick Labour

Warwick for Free Education

Warwick Pride

Warwick Enable

Activism, Campaigns and News

“We’re all just different!” How Intersectionality is Being Colonized by White People

Thinking Race...

Intersectionality-01

Working in student affairs on a university campus, I feel like I hear the words “intersectionality” or “intersectional” said out loud at least 20 times a day (no exaggeration). The word is regularly used as a powerful critique from young women of Color about how White feminist staff members don’t seem to understand the violence we enact. Often, though, I hear the term used by White feminist or “social justice focused” staff such as myself.

We use the term in many vague ways. “We really need to be sure our work is intersectional…We need to be more intersectional in how we talk about student identities…Our teaching strategies must be intersectional and culturally responsive.” I don’t use “we” in the royal sense. This is something I do all the time without thinking critically about my meaning.

But what the hell are we even saying when we use the term?

We have…

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