As a University we have a specific responsibility to ensure that a diversity of voices and views can be heard on our campuses. We have a vital role to play in convening difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conversations, and in curating the spaces in which ideas that some may find challenging or unpopular can be expressed and debated. This means that our community may encounter ideas or arguments which may be experienced as objectionable or offensive but that a line will be drawn at conduct which is unlawful or contrary to the University’s policies and values.
There have been complaints about a protest at a speaker event at our Colchester Campus on Tuesday 19 October which include complaints of antisemitism and harassment. Direct contact has been made with all those who attended the event, including the external speaker to seek further information as part of our investigation. We have pointed to sources of support for attendees should they need it.
These complaints are very serious and they are the subject of an investigation which will report to me. Action will be taken wherever behaviour is unlawful or contrary to the University’s policies and values.