Open Letter to University Campus Suffolk

Provost and Chief Executive

University Campus Suffolk
Waterfront Building
Neptune Quay
Ipswich, IP4 1QJ

02 May 2014

Dear Richard

Having met with one your students, Jason Haye, on 1 May 2014, I felt it important to write this open letter to you on behalf of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality.

It is very disheartening to hear views such as those attributed to Maggi Hambling CBE at the University Campus Suffolk event on March 24 2014.

Given her renown as an artist, she will have an enhanced influence over young people, and for her to take such a cavalier and indifferent attitude to one of history’s great crimes, the legacies of which remain with us today, is extremely disappointing. Equally concerning was the reaction of the event attendees and the apparent lack of challenge to her views.

ISCRE is proud of the heartfelt yet creative response to the matter by Jason, who was present and adversely affected by what was said; and hopes very much that his point of view will be considered by those concerned. We are however, concerned that the UCS has been slow to address his concerns following the incident and are anxious to know that you take the matter seriously.

The Equality Act 2010 requires the University to actively investigate incidents of alleged racism. It is important for people, especially those in positions of influence, to realise that prejudice can have severe negative consequences for the people who experience it. Evidence shows that individuals suffer from loss of confidence and their sense of worth and their ability to perform at work or in their studies can be undermined. Prejudice locks people out of social and economic opportunities, entrenching disadvantage and works against the goal of building a fair, inclusive community.

We hope your decision will ensure that effective mechanisms are put in place to ensure that in future concerns are addressed and students and staff do not feel powerless to challenge.

Kind regards

Phanuel Mutumburi

Business and Operations Director