Above photo: Vincent Cole Manchester Evening News.
Staff told students ‘We are with you. We are here for you.’
University of Manchester, UK – Teaching staff held a show of solidarity with their students following a ‘racial profiling’ row at the University of Manchester.
Lecturers also voiced their support for students protesting at the university’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
A group of staff read out a statement at the Fallowfield Campus on Tuesday afternoon telling students: ‘We are with you. We are here for you’.
And they told black students and students of colour ‘who may be feeling particularly hurt and excluded from the university at the moment’ that ‘you do belong here’.
It comes after Zac Adan, 19, was physically restrained by security guards outside his halls of residence in Fallowfield last Friday night and asked to show his ID.
Mr Adan, who is of Somalian heritage, claims the guards said he looked like he ‘didn’t belong’ on the grounds of Manchester University and that there had been reports of ‘drug dealing’.
A video posted online shows the security guards pinning Mr Adan against the wall as he accuses them of ‘racial profiling’.
Protests also broke out at the university earlier this month after metal fences were erected around halls of residences when the UK went back into lockdown.
A group of students are also holding a rent strike in Owens Park building in protest at having to pay full rental fees for a semester that has been hugely disrupted by the pandemic.
The lecturers’ statement said: “Let us say it once more, loud and clear: the staff at the University of Manchester stand in solidarity with you.
“We understand your grievances, and think the issues you raise deserve very serious consideration.
“We encourage members of the university’s senior leadership team to come and visit you, too, and discuss all those concerns with you.
“We agree that you do not need fences to maintain a safe environment and respect current restrictions.
“And most of all, we believe that the University of Manchester is a place where no student should feel unsafe.
“The example of racial profiling and physical intimidation experienced by Zac Adan over the weekend reminded us how much work we as a university have to do in order to meaningfully include and support black students and students of colour, to live up to our statement of support for Black Lives Matter.
“To Zac and all black students and students of colour who may be feeling particularly hurt and excluded from the university at the moment, we want to remind you that you do belong here and you can thrive here.”
As the Manchester Evening News has reported three security guards were suspended following the incident with Zac.