A student union has been accused of “racial segregation” after banning white students from Black History Month events.
The University of Westminster’s student union has told students that some events will be “reserved for black students to encourage a safe space for discussions and honest conversations”. In an email to students it did not specify which events would be restricted in the programme of talks, film screenings and dance nights.
Dr Neil Thin, a social anthropology lecturer at Edinburgh University, said it was “tragic” to see a UK university “copying the racial segregationism that we have previously seen in South African and USA education systems”.
He added: “It is bitterly ironic to see the rhetoric of ‘safe spaces’ abused to justify racial segregation. Nothing is more likely to make social spaces unsafe than this kind of wilful sowing of interethnic suspicion and division.”
Sir John Hayes, a Conservative MP, said he was concerned about “how sinister it is that such ideas can be propagated in a free and open society”. He called for an investigation into any potential discrimination.