Exeter University under scrutiny for racist messaging group run by students
Categories: Latest News
Monday March 26 2018
The University of Exeter has come under significant criticism as racist messages propagated on WhatsApp by a group of its Law students have come to light.
The messages were sent to a private students’ WhatsApp group called the “Dodgy Blokes Soc”, the members of which are part of the Bracton Law Society.
The controversy came to light when Mr Arsalan Motavali exposed the “racist and vile comments” made on the group as a post – which is unavailable currently – on Facebook, stating: “I’m sure everyone has recently seen the incident of racism at Nottingham Trent University…This event, along with various other factors, have compelled me to finally expose the below screenshots of multiple students of the law school, who have repeatedly made racist and vile comments”.
Messages included: “Bomb the mosques”, “Radicalise the moderates” and “this is why we need a race war”.
Mr Chris Omanyondo posted the following images on Facebook to expose the vile messages being sent on the group:
In response to the ongoing criticism, Bracton Law Society released the following statement:
“Bracton Law Society has taken the decision to remove those involved from committee, ban the candidate from the ongoing election and indefinitely ban all those involved from the Society. The Society does not condone or tolerate such behaviour”.
One of the students who was accused of sending several of the racist messages, Mr Matthew Bell, has apologised and has said: “I will not attempt to excuse and deny any of the statements I have made. The comments, which I shall not repeat, are inexcusable and undeniably wrong. I would like to make it publicly known that I do not honestly believe any of the things I have said”.
Mr Bell allegedly made the following comments on the group: “He’s such a stupid little arse licking P***” and “being chased by a n***** is every man’s worst nightmare”.
Four other students, as well as Mr Bell, have been suspended whilst the university undertakes a “major investigation”.
A statement from the Students’ Guild said: “The Students’ Guild does not tolerate any form of racism, sexism or hate crime and condemns any such actions with full disciplinary action”.
A spokesman from the Guild added: “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 issues…do not in any way whatsoever represent the society or its ethos”.
The Students’ Guild has suspended the Society and all of their planned events including elections and their Annual General Meeting.
The University of Exeter posted the following on Twitter: “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”.
The University, in a statement to students, said: “There is no place at our University for any type of racism, bigotry or harassment and we condemn any such behaviour without reservation. This is clearly against the values we co-created and which made explicit our commitment to community, one that is open and inclusive. Every member of our community has the right to be treated with dignity and respect when they come to study, work and live here; no-one should ever experience any form of abuse or harassment”.