Last week Swansea students received a mass email reminding them of the University’s zero tolerance policy to harassment and threatening or discriminatory behaviour of any kind.
Students were reminded that they have signed an agreement to abide by the University’s rules and regulations and as a result any students that break this policy will be dealt with accordingly.
The University and the Students’ Union work very closely to enforce a policy of Zero tolerance to harassment and hate crimes. Education officer, Robiu Salisu was made aware of ‘two Islamophobia incidents which had occurred in recent weeks in Swansea’ and created a post online condemning all cases of bullying behaviour.
One of the incidents refers to a student who reported being verbally harassed having been told that they ‘looked like a terrorist’ because of the attire they were wearing, Robiu confirmed. He added, “Furthermore, I am aware of other cases of bullying and homophobic related incidents which I equally condemn.”
The email coincided with a hate crime awareness campaign which was taking place at the front of Fulton House which educated students as to what constitutes a ‘hate crime’ and also encouraged students to report any and all hateful crimes.
Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s; disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender identity.
This can be committed against a person or property and the victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted.
Swansea University Students Union offers a hate crime support for victims on campus via the Advice and Support Centre, located on the ground floor of Fulton House.
Robiu said, “Victims can be assured that every case will be recorded and supported either in house or via external organisations.
It is very important for any students who have experienced or witnessed a hate crime or discrimination to report it. Even if you might not want action to be taken, we would still encourage you to report it.
This is so we can have an accurate record of incidents taking place on our campus and put resources into tackling it.”
There are strong repercussions for students who commit a hate crime which could seriously impact your study and future. Students accused of a hate crime within the University could face a disciplinary panel, set up by the Students Union and University, and if found guilty are punishable on a scale of a fine to permanent exclusion from the institution.
Swansea Islamic Society are also working with Swansea Bay Regional Equality Council on reporting hate crimes, in particular, Islamophobia.
Robiu added, “My personal message to Swansea students is to be nice to one another. We need to understand one another and tolerate each other for us to have a just, fair society. This is not about being politically correct, but professional competentence”