The University of Reading has issued a statement condemning the behaviour of a group of students who dressed as ‘pikeys’, a derogatory term for the Gypsy or Traveller community.
Dozens of students set off fireworks, threw furniture and sprayed fire extinguishers in a residential area of East Reading on Monday, October 24.
An investigation has been launched into the incident to identify the culprits, with the University calling the students’ behaviour ‘closed and narrow minded’.
The Students’ Union diversity officer, Sahadev Joshi, has stated that the group were ‘encouraged to dress as pikeys’, a term which the Deans for Diversity and Inclusion, Ellie Highwood and Simon Chandler-Wise, have condemned in an open letter to all students.
They have called for a sense of mutual respect, and an understanding that any derogatory language or actions directed towards individuals or groups with protected characteristics will not be tolerated.
“We want to underline that the University is a diverse and inclusive community where all staff and students must thrive without fear of prejudice,” they said.
Following a number of complaints due to inappropriately themed nights, the University has begun implementing a new diversity and inclusion plan covering all staff and students.
(Image: University of Reading)