We wanted to address what has emerged in the press and on social media over the last few days regarding complaints of sexual violence and harassment at Goldsmiths.
Our primary purpose as a Forum is to provide a structure wherein we protect and support each other. We hope to cultivate a space for honesty, integrity, and care, striving to do that through how we are, what we offer, and what we do.
Professor Sara Ahmed’s resignation, in response to her frustration and shock at the ubiquitous nature of the problem and to draw attention to its scale, is a bold and purposeful act. As a Forum, we would like to thank her wholeheartedly for this powerful action.
Having to be subject to alarm, distress or harassment, or any demonstrably or physically violent behaviour, is damaging and destructive. While we agree with the statement from Goldsmiths that such action occurs outside of higher education as well as within, and they cannot, of course, be held accountable for that, we also hope that their intent to find ways to reduce and address this issue will create internal cultural change.
We also hope that this current disquiet inspires action on unseen and silenced violence occurring in higher education institutions across the country, ensuring the work to bring attention to this matter itself is visible. This is not solely a Goldsmiths problem.
It is critical we listen to, and support victims and that no-one is ever re-victimised through a process which is hollow or shaming. For those who have been harmed we offer you our love, support and solidarity- if there is a way we could offer more, we are wholly open to suggestions of what we can do. Please know no student can ever be responsible for the actions of someone who has a duty of care to them- we support you.
Clearly police matters are that, and internal institutional matters also not within our remit, we are not qualified legal representatives, union representatives or counsellors, but we are colleagues and friends. We offer you support and space.
Katy, Jon & Ashli
BSA Postgraduate Forum Co-convenors