SSB committee accused of racism for choosing tribal theme
The SSB’s theme has come under fire from a group of students who claim it is racist.
The legendary charity ball, which aims to promote a greater awareness of safer sex, will have a ‘tribal’ theme this year.
But new campaign group Exeter Students for Social Justice hit out at the dress code, demanding an apology and mandatory ‘Privilege Awareness Training’ for the organizing committee.
The group, which has just 40 likes on Facebook, argues the theme is “racist and needs to go”. They define tribal as “a colonialist and racist term used by the white West in the past and present to oppress People of Colour throughout the world.”
Haley McNally sent a message of support, writing: “This is actually so blatantly racist it both makes [me] angry because an educational institution is holding an event like this and not following international human rights (particularly UNDRIP, among many others), and it makes me laugh because it is so outrageously stupid that people would even think this isn’t offensive.”
The Guild and RAG declined to comment but in February the Guild released a statement entitled “A Response to Banter – the appearance of prejudice”, in which it addresses potential issues of “blacking up” and “cross dressing”.
The message says the Guild: “Do express disapproval of unthinking and insulting appearances against minority student groups. Please think before you act and be considerate of others around you.”
Exeter Students for Social Justice has so far declined to comment.
Last year’s SSB – whose theme was Fantasia – raised £40,000 for HIV and AIDS charities.
Read Tab editor Matt McDonald’s views on the debate here.
The Tab can reveal that, at the time of writing this article, no official complaints have been registered with The Guild.