Straight, able-bodied white men who represent college and university lecturers from minorities have been banned from sessions at an equality conference because they do not have a “protected characteristic”.
The University and College Union decided at its congress last week to allow only members who “self-identified” as gay, disabled, female or an ethnic minority to attend the sessions at the conference in November.
Emma-Jane Phillips, a disability campaigner on the union’s equality committee, tried to have the motion overturned. “Equality reps are passionate about equality regardless of their own situation,” Ms Phillips, a maths lecturer at Northumbria University, told Times Higher Education. “To infer that someone does not understand someone’s situation just because you don’t tick a box is insulting. It is ridiculous that people who regard equality as their life can’t attend our equality conference.”
Ms Phillips, who serves on the union’s disabled members’ committee, said that some equality reps would have to lie about a protected characteristic if they wanted to attend the sessions.
Ciara Doyle, a senior lecturer in youth and community studies at the University of Greenwich (rated 98th in the university league table so hardly an elite university), said that the conference’s breakout sessions were a “safe space” for people to talk openly about their situations, which might otherwise be dominated by those with no personal experience. “We see in the union movement that some people’s voices are far louder than others,” she added.
At last year’s event there were separate conferences for women, black people, disabled members and those who were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. A source close to the union said: “There were strong views on both sides but in the end members felt that it was important that those from minority groups should be able to discuss their issues together.”
You couldn’t make this kind of story up even if you tried . These students are living in a “cocoon of unreality” and will be in for a very nasty shock when they leave university to take up employment, although one has to say I doubt they will compete very effectively in the job selection process. I presume they will want a “safe space” to be interviewed in and that “trigger alarms” will have to be raised if a very challenging question is asked which may upset them. Unfortunately, many of these student are from the “me, me, me” generation and think they have “entitlement” to anything and everything.
As an old workmate was want to say “boy, are they in for a fucking rude awakening when they leave uni”
But I guess many will become research assistants in the Labour Party, then SPAD before becoming an MP, having never done a “real job” in their lives.
Source: Original article from ToL