A statement from your Executive Officer Team

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Statement from the Executive Officer Team: Campaign to change the name of De Montfort University. Cl

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 dsuexec@dmu.ac.uk

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

Comments

Lauren Sadler
2:18pm on 1 Dec 20 I think that it would be an amazing idea!
Daniel Christmas
5:32pm on 20 Nov 20 What a moronic idea. No one was remembering him for antisemitism till you lot brought it up. IT WAS THE 13TH CENTURY for heavens sake. If it was a couple of years ago you might have an argument. Changing the name doesn't erase the history. What's done is done, and what's more we should establish why the university is named how it is. Make sure every student knows his influence on modern democracy and the world, and if you want to make sure people know his anti-Semitic beliefs; add that as well. Honestly should we change the Nobel peace prize due to the fact that Nobel invented dynamite and is therefore responsible for death all around the world? No. We remember people for the good things they did, we remember the caveats and the negative side of history to remember people aren't perfect, not even the greatest of men. In order to convince me, find me one great person, with similar or greater merit than DeMontford who cannot be said to of committed any crime, of the past, present, or what could conceivably be a crime in the future.
Kristine Fearon
1:01am on 20 Nov 20 The rowing students were disciplined, it was on the BBC. We don't have to memorialise someone who even for the times went above and beyond in persecuting Jews.
Raimonds Priede
12:56pm on 19 Nov 20 So what will you get upset about next? The fact that he has a statue on the clock tower? Will you ask that it gets taken off? Listen, what's happened to the Jewish Community throughout history has been tragic, from persecution by Christians to Mass genocide at the hands of the Nazi Regime. I am not ignoring all of this. Are you also doing this for the Homosexuals and the disabled that were hurt throughout history? It wasn't just Jews that were hurt throughout history. I understand that this is 2020 and we have to be careful not to hurt the feelings of others or offend anybody (Dreadfully easy in 2020). But what is the next thing you're going to do? Cancel Germany for the Holocaust and ask for the name to be changed? History is History. What's done is done. What we need to do now is move on but never forget.
Kyle Scott
7:22pm on 18 Nov 20 Virtue signaling nonsense. Where was this outrage when the rowing team was found to be doing blackface? Are only certain minorities worth defending?
Khandubhai Patel
3:04pm on 18 Nov 20 I remember the adoption of the name of De Montfort University being adopted was discussed at the Castle Labour Party Ward. Its adoption by ordinary members was unanimous. Great men can also have great faults especially when judged out of the context of the time in which they lived. The disapproval of Jews as being responsible for the execution of Jesus arising from the bible had been a view held by sincere Christians until only recently. Simon De Montfort has been judged to be a greater man for his striving for the rule of law and democracy against the tyranical power of rulers is his enduring monument which guided the university in adopting him. It is for this achievement that the world is thankful to him for. What marks any university is its reverence for learning of ancients that has been tested and that has endured. I challenge those who want to remove his name to find another ancient local disgnitary whose name has endured to the fame and glory of the city and country. His name is the recognisible brand that gives lustre to the name and reputation of the university, city and country.
Katie Hobbs
2:11pm on 18 Nov 20 I think this is an amazing idea! Its sometimes easy to forget how powerful a name can be and it's important to remember our values
Luke Sedgebear
1:06pm on 18 Nov 20 I think if the name is changed, which is entirely understandable, its vital to ensure a proper consultation with students from various groups to ensure the new name is both free of this issues, and still has it's own distinctive identity.
Jodi Rose
11:14am on 18 Nov 20 Sounds amazing! The initiative is really beneficial for how our university sees itself, and to promote a further increase of inclusivity.
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