Noella Chye

King’s College has “found no wrongdoing” towards Dr Priyamvada Gopal after her claims on Twitter of “racial profiling and harassment” by the College’s porters.

Gopal, a lecturer in English and fellow at Churchill, told Varsity the disagreement with the College porters arose after she was unable to pass through the College on her way back to the English faculty, having previously passed through an hour prior.

Following the incident with the College’s porters, Gopal has since withdrawn as a potential supervisor for students at the College.

“I have concerns about the way in which I was spoken to”, Gopal said, following her insistence on being called Dr Gopal rather than ‘madam’ as she had been on a number of instances by both the senior porter and another member of staff. Gopal also said the head porter “repeatedly yelled” at her and told her to stop patronising him when she attempted to clarify the spelling of her name.

Gopal said her interaction with the porters was a part of a “recurring problem” noting that a number of students and staff on Twitter have reported similar stories of discrimination. She said she has seen students crying due because they had been harrassed by porters at King’s, noting two such cases in the past year when students she was supervising came into her supervision “weeping”.

Speaking about her decision to no longer teach students at King’s, Gopal said she was “very heavy–hearted” and acknowledged that “in a way it feels unfair” however she also said she was using “what little leverage is available” to her in order to “act in a way that will make things better for other BME students.”


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While Gopal has been contacted by the College’s provost, she attributes this to the fact the story has gone public due to her “reasonably large platform on Twitter”, saying, “had it not gone public they would not have bothered because I have raised this with them innumerable times before,” noting the College “have never responded or even acknowledged my concerns in the past.”

Gopal also said that she had been contacted both by a King’s JCR officer who said they were “embarrassed and ashamed” by the ongoing situation, and a BME academic at King’s who “was trying to get the college to address it”.

After King’s were contacted by Varsity for comment, a University spokesperson replied, claiming the issue was “a matter of procedure, not discrimination” and that they “categorically deny that the incident referred to was in any way racist.”

Varsity has approached the King’s College Provost, Senior Tutor, and Head Porter for comment