Statement by our Vice-Chancellor: "Antisemitism has no place at our University"

  • Date

    Fri 22 Feb 19

Anthony Forster

Our Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster has outlined our University's response to antisemitism and our zero tolerance approach to harassment and hate crime.

“To see the University of Essex associated with antisemitism has been a deeply shocking event and one which has filled me with great sadness.

“Antisemitism is antithetical to the values of the University of Essex and has no place at our University.  We have a zero tolerance approach to harassment and hate crime which is at the very core of our values and beliefs. We are proud to subscribe to the working definition of antisemitism produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“Recent events have shown me we still have work to do, and I am announcing a series of immediate actions to tackle all forms of antisemitism within our community.

“I am pleased the Students’ Union’s Sabbatical Officer team has now met and, following a discussion with the Trustee Board, has made the joint decision to ratify the Jewish Society immediately.”

Specific actions announced by the Vice Chancellor include

  • The immediate launch of a review to ensure that we provide unequivocal support to our Jewish students and staff
  • An independent investigation of allegations against a member of staff, and whilst this takes place they have been suspended
  • Holding a public event on Thursday February 28 at 1pm, in support of our Jewish community, to which staff, students and members of the public are invited.

Please note: The Vice-Chancellor made a commitment on the morning of Friday 22 February to ensure the Jewish Society is created at the University of Essex, irrespective of any ratification by the Students Union. The Students’ Union has now confirmed the Jewish Society is ratified with immediate effect.