Students Arrested for Racist Chants at Nottingham Trent University


Two men were arrested after a video surfaced of racist slurs being shouted in one of the resident halls at Nottingham Trent University.

Rufaro Chisango, who lives in university accommodations, posted the video to her Twitter account after the verbal attack occurred. The video depicts the student locked in her room frightful as she overhears racist chants including “we hate blacks” being shouted behind her door.

Chisango described feeling "really shocked, isolated and uncomfortable” during the incident. "Words cannot describe how sad this makes me feel, in this 2018 people think this is still acceptable."

Chisango is the only black person living on her floor, making it likely the tirade of racial abuse was targeted. In a tweet describing the event, Chisango added that the rant included statements such as “blacks should go back to picking cotton” and other derogatory racist slurs.

Two-18-year-old men have since been arrested and suspended pending investigation. Despite this, students have expressed dismay over how long it took the university to take action. Chisango reported the abuse to the university halls on Tuesday, but the university was not properly informed until Wednesday. The delay troubled some students, who felt the severity of this event deserved immediate action.

The university has since put out a statement saying it will reach out to its accommodation partner to try and understand why the delay occurred. Both the university and local authorities have confirmed that the incident will be treated “as a matter of urgency.”

Yet, this type of racial abuse is not an isolated occurrence. Ilyas Nagdee, the officer of the National Union of Students representing students of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean descent, has said these experiences are "common".

Nagdee stated, “Unfortunately this is the day-to-day experience of students of colour across the country and it has been going on for decades.”

This event follows racist messages written on bananas at Warwick and a Confederate flag being used for decoration at a party in Manchester. Racially motivated attacks, especially in regards to young people, are escalating across the country presenting a troubling trend for students like Chisango.

University is a place where students should feel welcomed and safe. These events cannot be tolerated or allowed to continue in a world where black and minority ethnic students already face disproportionate hurdles as the status quo stands.

Cameron de Matteis