After Campaign Against Antisemitism publicised the troubling behaviour of Edge Hill University’s Students’ Union (SU) new president-elect and demanded action, the SU has now announced that it will suspend the result of last week’s election and open a full investigation.
The information about the candidate was originally provided to Campaign Against Antisemitism by a concerned student.
Sam Farrell, the new SU president-elect, recently dressed up as a Holocaust victim for a “Movie and TV Show” themed night out and was seen in images posted on social media apparently in striped pyjamas with a number appended, and wearing a cap, reminiscent of an inmate at Nazi concentration camps, with captions accompanying the images referring to “needing a shower” and “feeling gassed”. Then yet another social media post emerged in which he jokes about the billing for a club night saying: “pretty sure the Holocaust had better headliners”.
Mr Farrell went on to win the election last week and was due to become the SU’s new president. Mr Farrell had issued a lengthy apology, and the SU released a statement explaining why, despite learning of his behaviour in November 2019, it nonetheless permitted him to run as a candidate.
However, the SU has now released a further statement disclosing (extracted): “Due to new evidence [of Mr Farrell’s behaviour] coming to light and new evidence received by the University and the Students’ Union over the past 48 hours, new disciplinary action has also been opened. The Students’ Union will be fully transparent in cooperating with University counterparts in full should they wish to begin their own investigation, and the Students’ Union itself can confirm that it will be re-examining existing and new evidence as part of its new investigation. To be clear, the result of the SU Presidency election will be suspended until the result of any disciplinary procedure has been finalised.
“We do not underestimate the severity of this situation and the harm that the SU President-elect’s actions have caused.”
The SU will also be undertaking antisemitism training with the Union of Jewish Students.
Binyomin Gilbert, Programme Manager at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “We are very pleased that the SU has taken this step, and we will also be writing to the University to follow suit. Prejudice of any sort has no place on a university campus, and certainly not when it comes from a potential president of a students’ union. Jewish and non-Jewish students at Edge Hill deserve to be represented by someone who stands up for them, not someone who distresses them. It is right that the SU is taking this seriously, and we will continue to monitor the process to ensure that a suitable sanction is recommended and enforced.”
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.