Queens' College, where racist graffiti was discovered last week Louis Ashworth

“Racist” and “explicit” graffiti was found in a Queens’ College toilet last Wednesday.

In an email sent out to students by the Deans of Queens’, students were warned that the graffiti was not only against College regulations but was also a criminal offence.

The email also informed the persons responsible that they were wrong to think it was a bit of fun or a joke. Describing the culprits, the email read “you are a racist.”

A Queens’ spokesperson told Varsity that: “The College does not tolerate racist language in any form.”

Neither the University nor College have responded to questions regarding how this incident is being handled, making it unclear what procedures are being put in place to tackle racism in the future. However, a University spokesperson explained: “We are determined to have the right culture at Cambridge and have put in place a wide-ranging series of initiatives to equip staff and students with the confidence to talk about race and identify and challenge racism whenever they encounter it.”

The University has been at the center of several high profile allegations of racism. Last year Dr Priyamvada Gopal, along with two of her colleagues from the English faculty, refused to supervise King’s College students as part of a boycott over escalating racial profiling by King’s porters. This boycott is no longer ongoing.

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

Earlier this summer an English PhD student quit the University because of “structural racism” she witnessed during her time at Cambridge. She cited one specifically troubling incident where a non-Black lecturer repeatedly read out the n-word during class discussions.

A recent investigation by The Guardian highlighted the scale of racism at British universities. Responses to Freedom of Information requests sent to 131 universities across the UK showed that Cambridge received the highest number of formal complaints (72) regarding experiences of racism during the 2014-15 academic year.

In response, CUSU’s BME Campaign explained: “While it may be of surprise to some that Cambridge University came out of this research badly, the findings mirror the experiences of BME students and staff at this institution.”


Mountain View

Researchers seek to map racism across the University

Students at Goldsmiths University recently concluded a 137-day occupation of Deptford town hall, protesting institutional racism at the university, after students persuaded senior staff to implement a programme to improve support for BME students.

Last year, Cambridge sociological researchers created an independent web-based platform called ‘End Everyday Racism’ which allows members of the University community to anonymously record and report incidents of racial harassment and discrimination.

The platform monitors reports by creating a data set which can be used to demonstrate how racism is experienced at Cambridge.

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