#BlackLivesMatter Update

Monday 10-08-2020 - 15:14

As part of our on-going #BlackLiveMatters work, we held a focus group which was conducted with the leaders of African/Black-based societies (Those who attended were: African Caribbean Society, East African Society, The Sudanese Society, The Nigerian Society, Ghanaian Society, Natural Hair society, Never Taught In School group) and Course reps who are black and reps nominated to represent their course. A survey was additionally sent and received 7 qualitative responses (which includes the response from QTIPOC).

The following came from those focus groups and survey data.

Representation, Academics and other issues

  1. Lack of racial diversity in the lecturers on campus, students in certain courses; as well as a lack of honesty and proper representation of the black race in the curriculum (especially history and case studies treated in class).
  2. There is also the discouragement of black students when they express their ambitions to go for more competitive jobs; Some lecturers treat us differently compared our white counterparts; and the passing of subtle comments about the un-professionalism of black natural hair texture.
  3. Most People associate BAME With everyone who is not white, which creates the assumption that al non-whites students’ experiences are the same and hence apply the same solution.
  4. Other academic issues mentioned were how our curriculum in the line of history, development and science ignores British past actions/ ideology and the consequences and benefits they gained at the expense of their victims. Also the lack of education around the disparity within the legal sector, and the lack of diversity of ethnicity within healthcare studies and assessments.
  5. Students want the option to request for a Black counsellor when discussing issues around racial trauma as a white person may not necessarily understand what they are going through.

Barriers to report issues

  1. Students want clarity on the process of reporting issues, the actions taken by the university. Students want to be more supported and safe if they were to report issues.
  2. The case of micro-aggressions – Students find it hard to report such behaviours as they fear they may not be believed and can’t prove it was a result of racism. Furthermore, students mention that reporting micro-aggressions would not change the perpetrator’s character and hence internalise it.

About the SU

  1. Students want the SU to ensure its events are inclusive and cater to black students as well. Furthermore, they would like more support and resources when running their campaigns and events.
  2. The Exec officers should do what students are asking them to do, not pushing personal agenda.
  3. A student mentioned that while the SU tries to put the University in check, we also need to check the SU’s misdemeanour.

What have we done with these results so far?

The General Secretary, Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng is part of the Rapid Response team set up by the University. Two meetings have taken place where these results were contributed as part of understanding students' experiences.

These reports along with other research conducted by staff from the University were finalised by the BLM Task and Finish group and sent to the Board of Governors on the 22nd of July 2020. An agreement was made to discuss the solution for the concerns raised within the report. More updates to be followed soon.

-About the Students' Union, the Liberation team are developing a new framework for how we celebrate history months and the concerns raised by students will be factored into this.

-We have commissioned the installation of the Steve Biko building plaque on the Students Union building. We will confirm the date of installation in a further update as part of our on-going work to re-open the building this upcoming academic year.


Voice out - Barriers to report issues »

Voice out - Feedback about the SU »

Voice out - Representation, Academics and other issues »


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