At Hertfordshire Students’ Union we are heartbroken to see the violence and attacks over the last few weeks between Israel and Gaza. We stand with our students who have been affected by recent events. The past year has been difficult enough for all, but with the addition of this conflict, we will never understand the fear and sadness that this would have caused for those civilians and for our students all over the world and here in the UK.
Over the weekend following your feedback we have been reflecting and reviewing our recent statements and comments and looking to understand the feelings of all parties. It was not our intention to take a political stance on this issue but to show support for students affected. We have recognised that the imagery and some of the resources we used should have demonstrated better balance and we are sorry for any offence or distress we have caused to our community. Our aim at the Students’ Union is to champion inclusivity, freedom of speech and above all the wellbeing and support of our student community and we will learn from this, to ensure we represent all students.
How can you access support if you have been affected?
At the Students’ Union we want to support all students affected by the events in the area, ensuring you are supported throughout this difficult time. If you need support at this time, the University Wellbeing services are available as well as our Students’ Union Advice & Support team. Any student or member of staff can also contact our Chaplaincy who support students and staff of all faiths and for those who do not have a faith, further information and contact details for the Chaplaincy can be found here.
As we will, we encourage all students, staff, friends and family to continue their education on this topic from trusted sources. We will continue to improve our understanding of the topic. We will also be reviewing our training of all our staff and officers, both on this topic and on the ways that we support student in other global issues that affect our community.
A note to all…
We have a diverse population of students and as an organisation champion respect. We understand that everyone has differences, it is what makes you the person who you are. Being around such a diverse body of individuals gives us all an opportunity to support and learn from each other. We ask for all our students and staff to respect each other, and to celebrate diversity as hugely important to our community. We stand against hate speech, racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, ableism, and anything that could cause harm or distress to another individual. Be respectful of others, support our inclusive environment and above anything else, be kind to each other.