The University of Leicester Students’ Union is investigating a white t-shirt party in which students wrote pro-Nazi and antisemitic messages on their t-shirts, including “Hitler wanted my kind alive”. At another recent social, a student wore a high visibility vest with the phrase “I’m a Nazi” printed on it.
A white t-shirt party involves students donning plain shirts and emblazoning messages on them, and students too commonly take the opportunity to write offensive or racist comments. This latest incident follows prior incidents at Lancaster, Plymouth, Newcastle and Coventry.
Responding to the incident, an officer at the University’s Jewish Society has written: “The University has allowed a hostile environment for Jewish students to flourish, and so long as things like this continue to fly under the radar of the majority of students, nothing will improve.”
The Students’ Union, which claims that the social event was “unauthorised”, has apologised for the incident and has promised to “ensure we tackle any antisemitism and make it wholly clear that white t-shirt socials are not allowable by the Union.”
It is understood that the students involved have now identified themselves to University authorities and that the Students’ Union and the University will be undertaking investigations and disciplinary action. The University society that hosted the social has reportedly also pledged to run inclusivity training.
We commend the Students’ Union and University for their pledges in response to this incident. Campaign Against Antisemitism is taking a close interest in the outcomes of the investigations and hopes to see the University uphold zero tolerance to antisemitism.
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.