Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Tuesday 23 July 2019

Westminster student has been accused of using the n-word and searching bags in a racist attack


Share This Article:

The University of Westminster has been accused of failing to appropriately discipline a student after she used the n-word. 

Westminster's BAME Officer Lubaba Khalid claimed that a student named Yasmeen and her Nigerian friend were racially abused by Talia, another Westminster student. The incident occurred after Yasmeen's friend mistakenly entered Talia's room in Raffles House-Wembley. 

Yasmeen, who reported the incident to Lubaba, had invited Remi to her accommodation on 11th April 2018. Due to the layout of the hall of residence, students frequently enter the wrong apartments by accident. 

Remi allegedly walked ahead of Yasmeen because she needed to use the bathroom, however, she entered the wrong apartment. Yasmeen followed her in, intending to inform Remi of her mistake. The two were in the process of leaving the apartment when Talia saw them leaving. She confronted them with two male friends and demanded to search Remi's bags.

Remi eventually allowed her bags to be searched and nothing was found. Talia and her friends pushed the two out of the room and then proceeded to shout the n-word after them.

Multiple witnesses allegedly reported the incident to security after hearing the commotion. When questioned by security, Talia admitted to using the n-word.

The Raffles House management asked Yasmeen whether she would be prepared to move rooms in order to settle the situation and lift Remi's ban, to which she refused.

The university lifted Remi's ban (she was not allowed on Raffles House premises) after her family expressed outrage at the punishment.

Subsequently, Talia and her friends attempted to intimidate Yasmeen and Remi in the hallway, resulting in Yasmeen making two further complaints to security.

Following a complaint by Yasmeen to Lubaba, the University of Westminster classified Talia's offence as a "stage one" minor offence and demanded that Talia make a written apology to Yasmeen and Remi; the apology was allegedly a brief and blatantly forced letter devoid of remorse.

A Westminster spokesperson said:

"The first incident was investigated as a student disciplinary matter. While we obviously cannot comment further on that matter we can confirm, that a written apology (amongst other actions) was required of the student concerned. Other sanctions applied are a matter of confidentiality."

The victims argue that the university never informed them of the further sanctions. They want to see that Talia is appropriately sanctioned as an apology letter belittles the incident as minor. They also want to be reassured that the university will take these incidents more seriously in the future. 

The University of Westminster has previously been accused of monitoring Muslim students and acting unfairly after cameras were installed inside the prayer room. 

In a freedom of information response, the university claimed that the cameras were installed for the prevention and detection of crime.

Religious texts such as Qur'ans were allegedly binned or shredded by the university after they renovated the Muslim prayer room into a contemplation room. The following exclusive photograph was taken by a Westminster student showing Qur'ans in a blue bin whilst security tries to stop students from taking pictures.

In a statement, the university said that Qur'ans 'were removed so the rooms could be renovated. Signs were displayed for the materials to be removed before the refurbishment.' 

In the recent months, we have seen similar racist incidents occur at British universities such as Exeter and Nottingham - the individuals have been fined or suspended for their behaviour. So, will Westminster act accordingly? 

*names were changed to preserve anonymity

© 2019 is a website of BigChoice Group Limited | 201 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1JA | registered in England No 6842641 VAT # 971692974