Conflict in Israel and Gaza joint statement
Last week’s graduation ceremonies saw a fantastic celebration of our student community. We’re incredibly proud of all our students, and the culture of inclusion that exists both on and off campus. Seeing students of all backgrounds come together to share their successes and achievements was a timely reminder of what we can achieve together, and the ties that bind us.
It is in this spirit that, for some weeks now, we have had a joint group in place to look at matters arising because of the ongoing situation in the Middle East. The continued loss of life and awful events unfolding in the region continue to have an impact on many of our community. We also know that incidents of antisemitism and islamophobia have increased significantly in communities across the UK over the past few weeks, including in Higher Education.
The main purpose of the group is to take a proactive approach to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our students and colleagues during a period of heightened tensions globally and to support our staff and student communities to thrive and achieve their full potential.
Our faith leaders, professional services staff and Students’ Union are a key part of the group, and we work together to ensure that we achieve our shared goal of maintaining the inclusive and welcoming nature of our Salford community throughout such challenging times.
As a university, enquiry, education, debate and mutual respect are core to our mission and values, and in such difficult times it is these qualities that set us aside from opinion, hearsay and soundbite. Collectively, we will ensure that our campus remains a space where we can develop and grow; sharing ideas and points of view that enrich ourselves and each other. Continuing dialogue on difficult matters is essential to this, and events and activities across campus are in place to facilitate and encourage this.
Please continue to treat each other with dignity and respect and remember that whilst free speech is a fundamental pillar of our community, there is no place for any form of racism or discrimination at the University of Salford.
If you experience or witness anything of this nature, please use the Report and Support service. You can also contact the Faith Centre or speak with the Students’ Union if that is more comfortable for you.
If there is an immediate threat to safety, please contact the Police directly or call University of Salford Security on 0161 295 3333 or via the SafeZone app.
Our thoughts are with all those who are suffering at this time, and we hope that an enduring resolution of unity and peace can be sought.
Professor Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford
Simeon Anyalemechi, University of Salford Students’ Union President
Imam Rashid Musa
Rabbi Eli Simon
Reverend Helen Tomlinson
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Image, from left to right: Imam Rashid Musa, Simeon Anyalemechi, Professor Nic Beech, Rabbi Eli Simon, Reverend Helen Tomlinson