Student Union Officer Told White People not to Attend Anti-racism Event at Goldsmiths University

An officer of Goldsmiths University’s student union told white people and men that they are not allowed to attend an anti-racism event.

The university’s campus newspaper, The Tab, said in an article posted on its site last April 21 that the student union’s welfare and diversity officer Bahar Mustafa has posted on her Facebook account a message saying that the diversity gathering is only open to women with black or minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

The student union said that the gathering was organised to challenge the “white-centric culture of occupations,” diversify the university’s curriculum and establish "cross-campus campaign that puts liberation at the heart of the movement."

The 27 years old Mustafa, whotook an MA in gender and media studies at Goldsmiths, said in her Facebook post last April 15:

“Invite loads of BME Women and non-binary people!! Also, if you’ve been invited and you’re a man and/or white PLEASE DON’T COME just cos i invited a bunch of people and hope you will be responsible enough to respect this is a BME Women and non-binary event only.”

The union posted later on its website that people of all backgrounds are welcome to the event after Mustafa’s post was heavily criticised by Goldsmiths’ students and the university. The gathering was eventually held in April 21.

Goldsmiths Universityis one of thecomponents of the University of London and is known for its significant contributions in the arts and social sciences. The New Cross, London based university has a sizeable international student population, which make up to 20% of the total enrollees. 66.8% of students in Goldsmiths are females. While the university is mostly composed of white students (62.2%), about 36% of its students come from either a BME or mixed background.

Reacting to the issue, a Goldsmiths University told the Daily Mail last April 24 that the actions of the student union were not condoned by the institution’s administration. The spokesman added:

"We are proud of our diverse community and do not tolerate any form of oppression, including racism, sexism or any other form of bigotry.”


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