Welfare at Leeds: tackling hate crime
How can you, as a student, stand up against hate speech on campus? Health and Wellbeing intern Martha gives you some advice on how to safely stand up for yourself and for your fellow students.
This week our Exec Officers published a statement concerning the recent political turbulence of Donald Trump’s presidency. They reassured us of the stance LUU was taking against such extremist policies. Our welfare officer, Jess Reed stated: “We want to take this opportunity to reaffirm that LUU remains a safe space where any and all students can seek support. If anyone has any worries or concerns, particularly Muslim students with plans to travel to the USA, Muslim students with US citizenship, or family members you may have concerns about, the University International Student Office and LUU are here to help.”
University police officer PC Matt Guy has supported this active approach, telling us “If you hear someone using racist language or target them due to their sexuality, that is a hate incident and we would encourage you to respond proactively”.
LUU has a zero tolerance policy to hate crime. A hate crime is when someone is targeted because they are or believed to be disabled, gay, lesbian or bisexual, transgender or from a particular race or religion (definition provided by West Yorkshire Police Force). We encourage all students to make use of the hate crime reporting centres on campus if you are affected by, or witness a hate crime. The current hate crime reporting centres on campus are the Student Advice Centre and the International Student Office.
Hate crime reporting centres function so that any students who feel they have been the victim of a hate crime or incident can discuss and report their experience in a safe and confidential space. We want to make it easier for victims to discuss the incidents they have experienced. We want students to know that we support them and will help them if they ever experience any form of hate crime. It is important for recovery to report any incidents experienced by yourself, or to encourage a friend to do so if they are a victim.
Our focus at LUU is to provide a safe environment for our students where they can receive any help and support needed. You can contact the Student Advice Centre to learn more about the services available to you on campus, and further afield in Leeds.
(Image courtesy of http://www.haddenham.net/newsroom/tackling-hate-crime.html)