Statement on Conservative Society Social Media Posts
City, University of London Students’ Union are releasing this statement to address an incident which took place on Sunday 31 May 2020 on the Conservative Society’s social media account. The society posted a series of stories on their Instagram in support of ‘All Lives Matter’ as well as some misleading data. We deem ‘All Lives Matter’ to be a reactionary hashtag created to confront and at times oppose the Black Lives Matter movement.
City Students’ Union does not endorse these views and whole heartily supports the Black Lives Matter Movement, see our earlier statement here.
The Conservative Society is one of over 100 of our affiliated student societies and we recognise their right to freedom of speech and collective presence on social media. However as a students’ union we do not agree with having our societies creating offensive and insensitive posts, and look to take action as soon as possible whenever an issue arises. The society has since apologised and we are continuing to work with them.
We also recognise as an organisation we need to do more to educate our student leaders in all matters of equality and diversity so that their communications do not cause offence, whether it was out of ignorance or with malicious intent.
City Students’ Union knows how hurtful these posts have been to the community across City and we thank students for raising their concerns with us. We are committed to carrying out action to address this for the now and the future and we pledge to do the following:
- We will invest at least £2,000 to ensure all student leaders in the students’ union have been trained in equalities, diversity and race equity over the summer and during 2020/21.
- We will develop and make public a Race Equality Resource Hub on the students’ union website by Friday 12 June to ensure all students are able to learn more about race equality.
- We will lobby City, University of London to be more vocal in its stance against racism and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
- We aim to raise £500 in the name of the UK Black Lives Matter movement and donate this to a relevant London based charity*.
- We will be looking into appropriate action against the Conservative Society or the individual who made the post following an investigation.
We hope that these initiatives will contribute positively to our community and would like to reiterate one final message. City Students’ Union will never condone or endorse any form of harassment or bullying regardless of political belief, faith, gender, identity or any and all forms of protected characteristics. Please allow us to handle the situation as an organisation. We will always commit resource, time and energy to bettering ourselves and City and ask that you come directly to us with any suggestions, concerns or queries. Please avoid any abusive messaging towards any societies or individuals.
We thank you for your patience whilst we continue to look into this incident.
City, University of London Students’ Union
Tuna Kunt | President 2019/20
Saqlain Riaz | VP Education 2019/20 and President 2020/21
Rania Salim | VP Community and Wellbeing 2019/20
*We are unable to donate Union funds directly to any charity due to our own status as a charity (charity no. 1173858)