The University of Exeter has launched an investigation into a ‘white T-shirt’ social event, after allegations of anti-Semitic slogans written on students’ clothing.
Hundreds attended the Freshers’ Week pub crawl, organised by the university’s snow sports society, and as revellers ended the night in Timepiece, a club, they were photographed with offensive phrases scrawled across their white T-shirts.
One read: “The Holocaust was a good thing,” while another read: “Don’t talk to me if you’re not white.” The comments were written on the backs of the students’ T-shirts by others, and were designed to get the wearer into trouble.
Jewish Society (J-Soc) and Friends of Israel spokesman Mark Kiner said: “We condemn this and any other kind of anti-Semitism and racism in the strongest terms.”
He added: “Some individuals might think that it’s merely a joke and doesn’t mean much but these were real events which happened to real people, and as such they should be respected. We urge the university to investigate and punish the students involved accordingly.”
A University of Exeter spokesperson said: “We do not tolerate racist or bigoted behaviour in any form. We shall be launching a full investigation.”
Speaking to Jewish News, the Union of Jewish Students condemned the incident. A spokesperson said: “It is extremely concerning to see the use of such antisemitic language at the University of Exeter. Any language that glorifies the Holocaust is unacceptable and is not something that any student should have to experience during their time at university.
“We welcome the university’s decision to investigate the incident and the action that has so far been taken against the relevant society. We will be working with Exeter J-Soc in ensuring that appropriate action is taken.”