No Platform for Hate Speech on Campus Policy Passed

Over the past three days, students have been voting on whether we should adopt the ‘No Platform for Hate Speech on Campus’ policy, and the results are now in.

We held a referendum so YOU made the decision – not because we’re pushing an agenda, but because we want YOU to own your Students’ Union.

In total, there were 1018 eligible student votes – 554 voted for the policy (54.42%) and 464 voted against (45.58%), meaning that the policy has passed.

What does this mean?

From the outset, we have stated that this is an issue with passionate views on both sides of the debate and that is why we would implement the collective decision of students at Royal Holloway. As a collective student body, you as students have the right to determine what policies your Union adopts, particularly in relation to whom is invited onto campus.

The passing of this policy means that the Union will be taking forward the mandated actions under ‘the Union resolves.’ Therefore, any individual with a sustained history of making statements that can reasonably be interpreted as hate speech will be prevented from entering Students’ Union premises and speaking at Students’ Union events, including that of student groups, or activities in any capacity. The definition that has been adopted, as per the policy, is below:

“An expression of hatred toward someone on account of that person's colour, race, disability, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religious belief, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The expression should be threatening or abusive, and is intended to harass, alarm, or distress another individual or community of individuals.”

What are the next steps?

The next steps will be for us to produce an internal management process that will lay out the steps for implementing this policy – this will be done in collaboration with elected student representatives on the SSO Executive.

Thank you once again for all of the students that got involved in the debate on both sides, engaging in these discussions and exercising your right to vote is fundamental.