Foreword from Nikita Ma, President of Oxford SU
In May 2021, Oriel College decided to not proceed with the removal of the Rhodes statue. The University has remained silent on this issue. It is not the first time this Collegiate University has let down its BAME students, and that is why we are starting this campaign to make sure that it will be the last.
It is unfortunate that the burden of addressing racial equality in the University and providing support for our BAME peers has been mostly left to the student community. To all the students who have been pushing for racial equality in this University, we thank you for all the time, emotional energy, and effort you have put in to change this institution. Thank you for doing it for all of us; for those of us currently at Oxford, and for the generations of Oxonians to come. The University may not see you, but your SU sees you.
I would strongly encourage everyone to get involved with our campaign and use your voice to ask the University to, in the simplest terms, do more.
Because what they have done so far is not enough.
Foreword from Nikita Jain, Ethnic Minorities Representative of Oriel JCR
It shouldn’t have to be said that racial equality is important. Although we may want to believe that common decency as human beings would inevitably lead to racial equality, the daily reality of many students at Oxford who are subject to racism paints a different picture. The fact that systemic racism continues to persist at the heart of an academic institution as prestigious and influential as the University of Oxford represents a consistent failure to address the racial inequality which exists at every level of the University.
As Oxford students, we can use our voice to let the University know that their current efforts are not enough. It is not enough to make empty promise after empty promise with no intention to deliver concrete change. It is not enough to ignore the testimonies of countless students who are made to feel like they don’t belong here. And it is most definitely not enough to retain a visual symbol of racism in the form of a statue of the white supremacist Cecil Rhodes on the front of Oriel College whilst maintaining a stance of anti-racism.
The University has committed to reforms time and time again in order to improve the experiences of students whilst they are here, and these commitments are a step in the right direction. However, at the moment, all we have seen is words and not actions. The only way we can enact real change is by holding the University to account and by pushing them to do better, because right now, it’s not enough.
This section aims to empower and uplift the voices of our multicultural community, as well as celebrate the diverse cultures that make up the student body at Oxford. All of the articles, podcasts, videos linked in this section have been created by our students as well as student societies.
Articles, journals, videos, and podcasts have been linked from the following societies and student press (in alphabetical order):
Cherwell, Common Ground Oxford, Isis, Melanin., Onyx, OXCAR, Oxford African & Caribbean Society, Oxford History Review, Oxford India Society, Oxford University Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Services Society, Oxide Radio, People For Womxn* In Philosophy, PHASER, Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford, TABOU, The Oxford Blue, The Oxford Scientist, The Oxford Student, Uncomfortable Oxford
Afterword from Nikita Ma, President of Oxford SU
I would first like to begin by saying that I believe it is unfair to claim that the University has done nothing at all;
We do acknowledge that the University has been taking some steps on making Oxford more racially equal, such as setting up the Race Equality Task Force at the start of this year.
The main problem is that what has been done so far is just not enough.
Not least because the leadership of this University is majority White.
Not least because of the lack of accountability from the collective university system when a College undermines steps forward.
Not least because I still constantly overhear racist remarks at this University.
Not least because of the deep hurt I feel when I read through the comments students have submitted for this campaign.
And not least because a symbol of racism, colonialism, and oppression still looks over this city every day.
Oxford, it's not enough.