The University of Exeter has suspended students involved in a group chat which featured racist, sexist and homophobic language.
Those involved have also been suspended as members of the Students’ Guild, according to Guild President Shades, who commented on the matter during today’s Shadow Council.
The offending comments were made in a group chat involving some Bracton Law Society committee members. A member of the chat made multiple screenshots of the messages public – posting them on Facebook and Twitter.
Due to the nature of the comments, Exeposé has decided that it would be irresponsible to reproduce them here.
This morning, the University of Exeter tweeted: “The University of Exeter does not tolerate any form of racist, sexist or bigoted behaviour and is committed to eradicating any instances of discrimination and harassment that may arise.
“Following reports of allegations involving a small group of students, the University has launched a major investigation, in conjunction with the Students’ Guild, and suspended the students while this takes place. The police have also been informed.
“While it would be inappropriate to comment further while investigations take place, full disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.”
Later, in Shadow Council, the Guild President Shades confirmed that those involved have had their membership of the Students’ Guild suspended pending a full investigation, and that the ongoing Bracton Law Society committee elections have also been postponed.
This incident comes only two months after Exeposé revealed that this year’s #NeverOK posters had been defaced with racist, Islamophobic and misogynistic grafitti, as well as incidents over the past two years including socials for Snowsports and the Camborne School of Mines, a swastika carved into a door in Birks Grange and a “Rights for Whites” sticker.
UPDATE: In a later statement, the Guild confirmed that the students had been suspended, as had all BLS society activity until the end of the week. The statement reads as follows:
The Students’ Guild does not tolerate any form of racism, sexism or hate crime and condemns any such actions with full disciplinary action taken as appropriate.
Following the serious allegations and evidence of racism, sexism and hatred amongst a small number of Bracton Law Society committee members that have come to light, the Guild is currently carrying out a major investigation in conjunction with the University. Pending the investigation, the individuals in question have had their Guild membership suspended and have been suspended from the University as students.
Further to this, the named students have had their BLS committee positions removed and all society activity has also been suspended until the end of this week while we establish the full extent and nature of the issue. The Guild would like to emphasise that the incident is being dealt with as a matter of urgency. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
The Guild also understands that many people will have been seriously affected by the incident. If you would to speak to someone about the issue or would like support regarding the matter, we would strongly recommend getting in touch with any one of the Students’ Guild support services, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit (email@example.com), the Wellbeing Information Directory (WiD) and Reporting Information Directory (RiD).
Under no circumstances should any individual feel threatened, victimised or marginalised by anyone and the Students’ Guild is here to do our utmost ensure that Exeter is a safe and welcoming place for every single student. Please follow our social media for updates on the matter.
Hill Dickinson LLP, who had offered one of the accused students a training contract, has now revoked this offer.