Students have slammed Sheffield University's Student's Union after it announced it would be holding meetings to make the institution anti-racist - but banned white undergraduates from attending. The union said it wanted to make a change from being 'non-racist to actively anti-racist'.
It added that a member of the National Union of Students would be auditing the union to help them see what they can do to fight against racism, The Sheffield Tab reports. The union also called on students to share their ideas and experiences in two focus group meetings on October 14. However, these meetings are only open to black and ethnic minority students, causing fury online.
One person wrote: ''We will be actively anti-racist' also 'no white people allowed'. You couldn't make it up.' Another said: 'I am reporting Sheffield Union to the hate crime commission on the basis of racial discrimination.' While a third said: 'Will @amnesty call out this #racism by the University of Sheffield Students' Union? White students not welcome at the focus groups on ''how we can create an anti-racist Students' Union''.'
It is believed the union intends to be more direct in challenging racist language and acts on campus. A spokeswoman for Sheffield University Students' Union said: 'We're proud to be partnering with the NUS on a race equality audit, a piece of work we hope will lead the way for many other Students' Unions and improve race equality across our organisation. 'As part of this audit, we are holding focus groups to hear the lived experiences of students who identify as black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) - statistics tell us that people who are BAME will have experienced some form of racism during their lives. 'As a student-led organisation, we are of course always open to hearing the views and opinions of all of our students, who are welcome to speak to their Students' Union representative if they would like to contribute.'
Last year, a black graduate had a rotten banana thrown at his head during a ice hockey game between Sheffield Hallam and Sheffield University by a group of 'racist' yobs. Tyrell Pearce was sat watching a varsity game when the banana was thrown at him .
Mr Pearce said that he turned to the direction the banana had come from to confront the thrower and the group involved fell silent. He said that by their reaction he 'knew it was them' who had thrown the fruit in what he described as 'the most racially abused' he has been in his life.