UPDATE: Monday 19th March (17:36)
De Montfort University released a second statement on Twitter regarding both cases involving Elizabeth Sawyerr. It can be read in full below.
Monday 19 March: A statement from De Montfort University pic.twitter.com/rKOoRRIVvv
— De Montfort Uni DMU (@dmuleicester) March 19, 2018
UPDATE: Friday 16th March (17:37)
A statement by the De Montfort Student Union’s officer team has been issued online. The full statement can be found below.
“De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) is aware of a situation that has arisen regarding students and an account of racist behaviour. We seek to be an advocate for our students, always working to support them and take any allegations of discrimination in all forms very seriously.
“We were made aware of an allegation of students using racist terminology against another student. We monitored this investigation closely and were satisfied that De Montfort University (DMU) had dealt with it as was necessary.
“During this week, another situation has come to our attention which the university has begun another investigation into.
“As a students’ union, we are and will assist any student involved who needs our support throughout this process. One of our expert independent DSU Advisors will work with them one to one. A DSU representative is now directly involved with the university’s investigation, which we are monitoring closely.
“In the interest of confidentiality for those students involved in the current investigation we are unable to comment further due to the pending investigation. But rest assured that we are working tirelessly to ensure the best outcome for all students affected by this situation.
“DSU will continue to work with DMU to tackle any instances of racism on our campus. We do not tolerate it and it will not stand.
“If any student has been affected and requires support, we encourage them to get in touch with our independent DSU Advice team for free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d also like to remind our students that if they are a victim of, or witness, any form of hate crime to report it to DMU Security immediately by calling 0116 257 7642.”
A statement from your Officer Team https://t.co/BeQqJ8YVJq
— De Montfort Students’ Union (@demontfortsu) March 16, 2018
UPDATE: Friday 16th March (16:50)
De Montfort University has released a statement regarding the subject of this article. The full statement can be found below.
“Allegations of racist behaviour were made against two students at De Montfort University last month in respect of an incident that took place off campus, in a social environment between students, who at the time were friends. The university will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying of any kind. We therefore immediately launched a full investigation into the matter. What emerged from this investigation was a complex set of circumstances. The outcomes of the investigation were disclosed in writing to the complainant.
“A separate serious allegation has more recently been reported, which is the subject of an urgent investigation. Since the investigation into this incident is ongoing, we cannot disclose further information.
“We appreciate this is a highly sensitive issue, but we have to respect confidentiality in this matter and ensure we follow due and fair process. We are in regular contact with all involved and will continue to offer them our full support.”
A statement from De Montfort University: pic.twitter.com/i96PSSaoka
— De Montfort Uni DMU (@dmuleicester) March 16, 2018
Thursday 15th March (19:15)
Elizabeth Sawyerr, a second year performing arts student has been suspended by De Montfort University (DMU) following a complaint allegedly made by the girls who she claims verbalised racial abuse against her in a seperate investigation, in February.
A letter was sent to Elizabeth today informing her that a complaint had been made against her from students who claim that she had used ‘abusive and offensive’ language. She has since been suspended from her course and banned from entering the premises of DMU until the end of a pending investigation by the university.
The suspension is justified after it is stated in the letter that the university was concerned for ‘the potential for you [Elizabeth] to use violence’ after alleged threats made.
Elizabeth denies the allegations of any abusive or offensive language being said or threats made against the individuals who complained, “I have been doing this the proper way, through official means so the situation can be handled correctly.”
She told The Demon, “the university has suspended me because the two racist white girls feel ‘scared and intimidated’ by seeing me so now they are making sure the black students are not going to retaliate so I have been suspended until further notice.
“I am so angry because if I wanted to threaten them or fight I would have fought since February. They are making the black students look aggressive when that is not the case at all.”
The University has said they have suspended her following a complaint made against her while the matter is still ongoing. More information to follow.
The Demon has contacted the University for a statement.