Undergraduates at Oxford University have been told that failing to look another student in the eye could be viewed as racist behaviour. This came as part of a list of ‘micro-aggressions’ that has been circulated by the university’s equality and diversity unit.
This move has been criticised for being patronising or even authoritarian in the way it controls how students interact with each other. The newsletter stressed the University’s intention was to address and raise awareness of ‘subtle racism’ as part of its training for university employees.
A spokesperson from the university told The Times: “The equality and diversity unit works with university bodies to ensure that the university’s pursuit of excellence goes hand in hand with freedom from discrimination and equality of opportunity and the newsletter is one way of advising and supporting staff towards achieving these aims.”
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