Your Student Voice
Today I have decided to come on to this platform and utilise this space to inspire thought and conversation. As students I believe it is important for us to recognise our position within society and the way we can mobilise change. We, as we have been constantly reminded, are the future. Education is key and with that comes a lot of power.
I hope you have been keeping updated with the recent news regarding George Floyd and the wider Black Lives Matter movement, if not I ask you to please do so. This issue of race relations is not something that is isolated to America nor is it an issue solely within the Black community. I believe that as students we are in a position of privilege that allows us to be more knowledgeable and not continue the same system of oppression as those before us have done. We cannot look at systematic oppression, racial discrimination and injustice and be so ignorant as to chalk it up to individual isolated events.
The current climate is one that places us in a situation where silence is the same as acceptance. Regardless of your ethnic background it is important to be educated and vocal on the matter in order to not just showcase unity but also force institutions such as Warwick University, or even your current sixth form to address overt and covert racism. The power of social media is stronger than it ever has been, and it is one of the fastest ways to get reactions and answers from these big systems. Secondary schools, Universities, Employers etc are being made to address these issues and even if it is the bare minimum response it is a starting point. So when it comes to the ‘relevance’ to you as an offer holder, is to think about the impact you want to have and what environment you want to learn in.
Ask questions, get involved in the discussions on twitter and find out what your University, Student Union, and societies are doing to address racism. Sit and consider what that silence suggests about the importance of minorities in their care. So between now and when you begin University in September I urge you to get in contact with current students, Professors, Presidents of societies and talk about these things. Keep yourself militant and this is not directed just to the BAME students that are reading this but to white students as well.
I have always discussed racism within Britain as a series of Microaggressions; from being labelled as a ‘gang’ in secondary school for walking with my black friends to ignorant and insensitive comments made about my natural hair – England is not exempt. Furthermore, Universities are not exempt. Racism is everywhere. Ignoring it is part of the problem. Speaking from the point of view of a Black female student at Warwick University I can honestly say that using your voice is so important, injustice cannot be ignored or swept under the rug. Warwick Against Racism society is a good place to start for a conversation on this, search the University on twitter, read,think, and discuss. I know it is easy to feel helpless but I’m here to say that it doesn’t have to be this way. A revolution is needed, educational, social an cultural. Things need to change and as students on the inside, we have the resources to shake the table.
As always, I hope you are all staying safe.