A statement from your Executive Officer Team: Campaign to change the name of De Montfort University
As your Executive Officer team at De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU), we always strive to improve your student experience and hold the university to account when we believe improvements need to be made. While in post we work on a range of activities including student-led initiatives, issues affecting you and projects which we were voted in for. As well as this, every year, as a team we decide and agree on one joint objective to make long lasting change following conversations with students. This year we have chosen a project that we truly believe will leave a legacy that we can be proud of.
Within this statement we will be explaining what our shared objective is and why we have chosen it. It is with pride that we share this with you today and we hope you share our passion for this campaign.
De Montfort University (DMU) is named after Simon de Montfort, who although is known to be the Father of what we would call modern day democracy, was also known for his anti-Semitic views and hatred towards the Jewish community, which ultimately led to the expulsion of the entire community from Leicester and the massacre of hundreds of Jews across the country. His is not a name we believe anyone within our community would want to be associated with; and after conversations with key stakeholders we are confident that the campaign we are pursuing is the correct one.
De Montfort is not a name we should be promoting. This is not a name we say with pride. It is not reflective of our core values and beliefs.
Therefore, as of this moment, your Executive Officer team of 20/21 are formally launching a campaign to change the name of De Montfort University.
The changing of the university’s name has been spoken about in whispers by students, staff and the local community for years and it’s time we bring it to the forefront. This should not just be a virtue signalling act. Alongside the change of the name, we want to ensure that the university actively begins to start dismantling any signs of antisemitism within the institution.
In June this year, DMU committed to critique and challenge themselves to prove to the student community that they will change and become a truly anti-racist university. It is now time to show us. Show us that they are passionate about becoming the best university they, and we, can possibly be – one that truly embraces equality and diversity.
We ask that the university pledges to start the work that will ultimately lead to changing the name by December 2023.
We want to make sure this process is as transparent as possible. We will ensure that we continually gather feedback from you and other stakeholders as our priority; this will start in January with a range of initiatives which will allow you to take part in the conversation. Ultimately, as your Executive Officers, our job is to amplify your voices, and we will use your feedback to consult with the university.
We understand you may have some questions, which we are happy to answer. If you do have any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in finding out more information about Simon de Montfort please visit https://linktr.ee/SimonDeMontfort
We look forward to hearing from you,
Aisha Ismail, Student Opportunities & Engagement Executive
Benjamin Smith, Welfare Executive
Diya Rattanpal, Equality & Diversity Executive
Joanna Dine-Hart, Union Development Executive
Laura Flowers, Academic Executive