Staff and students from the University of Exeter gathered in the Forum on Monday evening for a demonstration celebrating diversity.
Amongst the speakers at ‘Exeter University Stands Together’ were Baraa Kouja, founder of From Syria With Love; Maria Thomas, a lecturer in Hispanic Studies; and Students’ Guild president Toby Gladwin.
The approach was multi-faceted, with those that spoke tackling the issue of prejudice from a variety of angles; from ‘unconscious bias’, to the intolerance some have perceived to have been spread by tabloids throughout the EU referendum.
“(diversity) enriches, it informs, it takes us outside of our own experience and makes us more rounded individuals”
This latest demonstration follows a similar event held in Exeter town centre in June of this year to publically condemn the reported spike in hate crime following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
The demonstration comes less than a week after a Snowsports Society white t-shirt social made national headlines when anti-Semitic and xenophobic slogans were spotted on students’ t-shirts. In response to this, organisers Lucy Porter and Juan Manuel García asked attendees to wear white t-shirts to the demonstration and write inclusive slogans on one another in an attempt to reject of the kind of behaviour the university witnessed last week.
Perhaps in a testament to Exeter University’s multiculturalism, over 140 countries are represented by the student body. Alex James, Vice Presdient and Welfare and Diversity Officer of the Guild, was amongst those to celebrate this diversit. He told attendees:
“(diversity) enriches, it informs, it takes us outside of our own experience and makes us more rounded individuals”.