We, your SU Sabbatical officers want to reach out to all of our students and their loved ones who are being affected by the heart-breaking cycle of violence and destruction in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories.
We, your SU Sabbatical officers want to reach out to all of our students and their loved ones who are being affected by the heartbreaking cycle of violence and destruction in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories.
The daily reports of an unacceptable amount of civilian deaths and casualties are overwhelming and first and foremost we want to urge anyone who's mental health or wellbeing is being impacted by this to access support. If you need support for your wellbeing, please contact the LSBU Wellbeing Team at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The topic of this long-standing oppression is a divisive one and this division in our daily lives only continues the harm being caused by governments, military and states who do not act on behalf of all of the groups they aim to protect. Our campus and university communities must remain safe for all students. If you have experienced Islamophobia or Anti-Semitism, bullying, harassment or racism of any kind please use the university’s anonymous reporting tool Report & Support reportandsupport.lsbu.ac.uk.
As your representatives, we too are concerned about the claims that the university is investing funds that contradict their ethical investment statement, and we have asked the University to respond to these. We are awaiting their response and will seek students' views on our collective approach pending that response.
The recent atrocities in Palestine have caused justifiable outrage and sadness in our community, and many of us want to show our support and solidarity for Palestinian people. So we have put together a list of proactive things you can do to show your support.
Donate - If you can donate, you are invited to donate to:
Ummah Welfare Trust via LSBU ISOC
Medical Aid for Palestinians
Sign a Petition -
You can add your names to petitions which call on action
Join the National demonstration for Palestine on Saturday 22 May
Learn more – many of us have limited knowledge about this topic, and we can take responsibility for educating ourselves by reading balanced information about the history surrounding the issues.
Submit policy for SU via council
It is hard not to talk about the student voice in this without acknowledging that we have come in for some sharp and personal criticism on social media the last few days about where we stand on the issues raised and it has been upsetting to see students so unhappy with us and the Union.
Although many comments and allegations about our staff, officers and the Union have been made publicly, we have addressed these and clarified our position privately with the student who has contacted us.
We want to make it categorically clear that we have not and will never threaten students or our officers with disciplinary action for exercising their right to protest.
We also refute entirely the upsetting allegation that the time it has taken to prepare public communication on this matter is ‘heavily racially biased’.
We, your elected officers, and the staff of the Union do not decide our policy, or what the Union campaigns on. This is decided by you – students, through a democratic process, and if voted in and ratified by Trustees, then it is our duty to uphold it.
The difficulty we have faced over the last few days is that we have been asked to make a stand, with a specific view, when we know that the issue hasn’t been debated, or subject of a policy vote. This presents a conflict for us as it would be wrong for us to make a stand publicly about our own personal views as if that were the view of all students.
The upset and hurt this has caused for our community have made it clear to us is that this core principle of student democracy is not known widely enough amongst our student body, even those closely involved with us - so we have to take ownership of the fact that we have not been doing enough to engage our students in our democracy, and have been too complacent when it comes to making sure our students know exactly how they can affect change in their Union. We are sorry, and we resolve to change this with your help and input as we move forward.
In the immediate, though we want to start moving on those democratic processes:
We want to invite students to put forward a motion for Union Council to debate on the issue with the aim of getting an approach which is agreed democratically. If members would like to work on this with us then please get in touch with Hattie at email@example.com. We are aware that we do not have enough representation from Israeli or Palestinian students in our SU networks and therefore particularly welcome any proposals and insight from students who are directly affected by the conflict.
Finally, we want to take time to ask students to remember that regardless of differing views or difficult conversations, we are a community. We support and actively encourage healthy debate, but we must try and do this whilst still being kind to one another.
Sabbatical officers, part-time officers, council members, staff and students are all human beings dealing with the same pressures of day to day life, we are not infallible and remembering that will help us create a healthy, respectful and inclusive culture within our community which will benefit us all.
Hattie, Rabbi, Ferdous and Joel