Statement signed by DMU academic is “entirely transphobic and discriminatory,” says DSU

by Beatriz Abreu Ferreira

The Students’ Union at De Montfort University (DMU) has issued a response to a statement which was published in The Times newspaper titled ‘Stonewall is stifling academia’ and signed by one of its academics.

The response signed by the DSU executive team and published online says: “This statement was recently brought to our attention by students and we were utterly shocked to have seen its content. We believe this statement to be entirely transphobic and discriminatory towards our students and we were left outraged by the opinions expressed in it.

“As a union, we want to make it absolutely clear that these are not the views and values we stand for, and we believe that nobody’s identity should be minimised or denied in the excuse of ‘Academic Freedom’. As Executives, our collective aim has always been for our year in role to be carried out with full transparency, and we can only reiterate how extremely sorry we are for having not picked up on this statement earlier.”

The executive team assures that DMU “have dealt with this issue in the correct manner” and invited any student who wants to discuss the issue to visit its membership office. The original statement in The Times was published last summer.

Diya Rattanpal, Equality and Diversity Executive, shared the response on her Twitter account appealing to the students who were ‘affected by the initial statement in any way shape or form’ to meet any of the executives for a chat.

‘By your side – always,’ she added.

We have tried to contact the LGBTQ+ society to comment on this matter but they have failed to reply.

Sara Pereira, an LGBTQ+ student at DMU, said: “I was very angry when I heard about the statement. The academics should be here to help us learn instead of discriminating against us. I’m glad DSU has recognised that.”

Most UK universities, including DMU, are members of the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme which ensures LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace.

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