October 21, 2014, by Mike Munro

A message from the Registrar: Week One incident

A message from Dr Paul Greatrix, Registrar, The University of Nottingham:

From conversations and correspondence over the last week, I know that most of you will have read media reports and many of you seen video footage of Students’ Union Week One Reps leading groups of our new students in offensive and ‘tribal’ chanting at an event in the city centre.

We made an early press statement which made it clear that the University does not tolerate behaviour of this kind from its students, and we also stressed that we were supporting the Students’ Union with their investigation into this matter.

I want to assure you that we expect all students to adhere to acceptable norms of behaviour and we have taken swift action under the Code of Discipline for Students. In addition, the Students’ Union is about to conclude its action under its own code of behaviour for student representatives.

I share the sense of wider concern that some of you have expressed with regard to the underlying cultural issues raised by this unacceptable public behaviour. I also hope you will share my view that, while serious misconduct from a relatively small number of students can have a major adverse impact on those around them, the overwhelming majority of our students do behave in a way which reflects the true values of our institution and indeed our wider community.

Nevertheless, the behaviour exhibited in the video footage tarnishes the image of that wider group of students and provides a further incentive for us to take these underlying cultural issues extremely seriously.  As such, UEB will be taking steps with the Students’ Union to devise and monitor an action plan for addressing issues of conduct and equality and diversity with all representative student groups. UEB will also be exploring other positive ways to promote behaviour and attitudes across the entire student body which better reflect the values of the institution.

In conclusion, I want to thank you for your responses to this difficult matter. The fact that so many of you shared your concerns reflected what a significant challenge to our values this incident represented.  I also know that it will have caused concern for our neighbours and our partners in the city and beyond the UK.  Some of you have already expressed an enthusiasm for involvement in the work I have outlined above and I will be contacting you in due course with a further update on those matters.


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