Campaign update & invitation to London RSR planning meeting

Hi everyone,

With the new term beginning we’d like to update everyone on the current status of the Real Student Rights campaign, and invite you to a campaign planning meeting on Monday 20th January, 3pm at Birkbeck University in London.

The campaign against Student Rights received support from a number of Student Unions last term, with motions passing at LSE, Birkbeck and Goldsmiths students unions, endorsing Real Student Rights and condemning the lack of transparency of Student Rights as well as the Islamophobia inherent in their agenda.

For any students looking to pass similar motions at their Unions, you can find a template motion on our website and please keep us informed if you do by contacting realstudentrights@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, Student Rights has begun unravelling under scrutiny. When Times Higher Education covered the Real Student Rights campaign earlier this month [6] Student Rights appeared to finally admit to being a ‘project’ of the right-wing Henry Jackson Society think-tank, after evading transparency for so long. Its links were also made quite clear on national television, when Channel 4 covered the story, interviewed members of Student Rights in the Henry Jackson Society’s office where they are based, and forced them to address students’ claims that they are Islamophobic.

However Student Rights still remains a threat to students’ freedom of expression, welfare and campus cohesion. The BBC’s erroneous reference to Student Rights as a ‘student group’ illustrates that the group’s lack of credibility has not yet been made clear to all, and that further awareness needs to be raised about the real nature of Student Rights.

The recent gender segregation debate was sparked by a Student Rights report into gender segregation at Islamic Society events, which was sensationalist, methodologically flawed and in the vast majority of cases made no attempt to find out – by asking students themselves – if seating arrangements were ‘forced’ or their own choice. Instead the director of Student Rights described gender segregation as a form of ‘extremism’ in the press further demonising Muslim students and pushing a narrative devoid of nuance that conflates two separate issues and glosses over fundamental questions about Muslim women’s agency. Real Student Rights regards Student Rights pretence to be defending women’s rights to be cynical, opportunistic and utterly hollow – and, ironically, to be silencing the voices of many Muslim women.

So in order to ensure that anti-discrimination efforts remain and anti-discriminatory, and in the interests of countering the toxic influence of Student Rights, the students who founded the counter-campaign Real Student Rights to expose and oppose Student Rights have called an open planning meeting, looking to expand the campaign’s activities and expand our student support base.

If you are a student and are interested in more transparent and democratic anti-discrimination work setting the agenda, we hope to see you on Monday 20th January at 3pm –

Venue: Birkbeck University (room to be confirmed)
Malet Street, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7HX London

If you can’t attend but would like to contribute ideas, ask questions or offer feedback, please get in touch: realstudentrights@gmail.com. You can also help by sharing our petition with your friends.

In solidarity,
Real Student Rights

 

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