The Oxford SU has launched the “It’s not enough.” campaign, highlighting the University’s inaction on issues of race equality. This comes after Oriel College’s decision to allow the Rhodes statue to remain in place, and the University’s silence on the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.
The Oxford SU is collecting student responses on the ways in which the University’s action on racial inequality is not enough. The “It’s not enough” campaign aims to use its platform to provide a focus point for students’ frustration at the University’s inaction, to highlight the incredible work students are doing, and to celebrate the diverse lives of students at Oxford.
The campaign is accessible via the Oxford SU website, and consists of resources ranging from articles, journals, videos, and podcasts created by students on race, to quotes submitted by students on their frustrations with the university’s failure to do enough on racial equality. Students can get involved and submit quotes for the page using the ‘add your voice here’ button on the page.
The ‘Student Voice’ section also aims to celebrate the diversity of the student body at Oxford, and to empower and uplift the voices of the University’s multicultural community. All of the resources linked in the ‘Student Voice’ section of the page have been created by Oxford students as well as student societies.
Nikita Ma, President of Oxford SU, said, “There are many things Oxford can do better in terms of racial equality, not least removing the Rhodes statue which symbolises colonialism and racism. I am immensely grateful to all the students who have contributed their time and emotional energy to lead and support this campaign. We at Oxford SU will continue championing the student voice, and I strongly encourage you to spend less than a minute to fill out the form and make Oxford a more equal place for future generations of students to come.”
Smriti Pahari, ethnic and Religious Minorities Representative at Worcester JCR, said, “Joining the campaign is important in ensuring that Oxford takes the welfare and its commitment to ALL of its students seriously. Going beyond just empty promises of racial equality without any action or intention to follow through.”
Nikita Jain, Ethnic Minorities Representative at Oriel JCR, said, “The University’s current efforts to address the systemic racism which affects BAME students are not enough. Retaining a visual symbol of racism in the form of a statue of the white supremacist Cecil Rhodes on the front of Oriel College is incompatible with the University’s stance of anti-racism. As Oxford students, we can use our voice to let the University know that they have failed to address concerns of students who are made to feel as if they don’t belong in the Oxford community.”
“The University has promised 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.”
The list of societies and student press which have had their articles, journals, videos, and podcasts linked are (in alphabetical order):
Common Ground Oxford
oKay Kpop Dance
Oxford African & Caribbean Society
Oxford History Review
Oxford India Society
Oxford University Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Services Society
Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford
The Oxford Blue
The Oxford Scientist,
The Oxford Student
The campaign link is as follows: https://www.oxfordsu.org/itsnotenough/