An investigation has been launched after students from Lancaster University were pictured wearing T-shirts described as “homophobic, paedophilic, misogynistic, racist, Nazi-praising statements”.
Photographs have emerged of students from the university’s Snow-sports Society wearing white T-shirts scrawled with offensive launguage at the city’s Sugarhouse Nightclub on October 12.
Lancaster University BME (black and mixed ethnic) Students Network, posting on its Facebook page, said it condemned the actions of those in the photographs.
A spokesman for Lancaster University Students’ Union said: “This matter is the subject of a live investigation by the students’ union, as is our policy when allegations are made relating to breaches of our codes of conduct.
“The club was immediately suspended as soon as the students’ union became aware of this issue. A panel convened to consider the available evidence and decide any appropriate sanctions against the students’ union group. The panel has already agreed that the behaviour fell far below of the standards that were expected. The panel was due to meet to finalise sanctions against the club.
“We’re extremely disappointed that this information has been made public before the investigation was concluded and that our panel has been compromised.
“The union takes allegations of this kind very seriously and the matter is being handled in line with our disciplinary procedures.”
According to the university’s BME Student Network, the Snow-sports Society’s first social gathering of the year was named “LUSS Social #1: White Tee Social”.
A spokesperson said: “Following this social, Sugarhouse photographers posted photos depicting several members of LUSS wearing T-shirts covered in homophobic, paedophilic, misogynistic, racist, Nazi-praising statements.
“The university has been aware of this situation for some time and has chosen not to inform students, so we are writing this post today, in solidarity with other liberation groups on campus, to openly condemn these actions when the university won’t.
“Whilst we hope that there was no overt malicious intent from LUSS members to other students in the university that identify with the targeted groups, it must be highlighted that this type of rhetoric only normalizes hate speech and cannot and will not be tolerated on a university campus, or anywhere else for that matter.
A spokeswoman for Lancaster University said: “The University fully supports the Students Union’s investigation into the conduct of one of its societies and the society’s immediate suspension.
“While the Student Union is responsible for the conduct of any student society, the University expects all members of its community to behave with respect and tolerance for others and is prepared to use its own disciplinary procedures if necessary where behaviour falls short of those standards.”