We acknowledge and apologise for the distress that this weeks 'A new Era in the Middle East' events have caused within our student community. We also want to acknowledge the statements that we have received from various members of our student body which object to the presence of Tzipi Hotovely on campus.
LSESU is committed to equality, social justice and speaking up for the students it represents. Over the last 24 hours, we have had the difficult decision of weighing up the following: the space to challenge different views on campus, protecting all of our students and our commitment to the recent Student Member's Motion.
Considering this, we have made the decision that with the following conditions in place, today's event can go ahead.
- Critical Q+A to challenge both speakers – For this event to be a debate, rather than a platform solely for the speaker, there must be an appropriate challenge of the views held by speakers. There will be pre-set questions for each event and an opportunity to ask live questions.
- Opportunity for anonymous questions – We want students to feel comfortable to challenge the speakers without misinterpretation and subsequent repercussions. Students will be able to post anonymous questions ahead of time here (https://forms.gle/gn8wTt1SYsEd7Lze6) and using the planned Webinar function.
- Safety Officer – This will be a person present at the event who you can approach if you feel unsafe for any reason and have a private discussion that will be fed back to organisers anonymously. The organisers commit to taking steps to address any issues and improve the conditions for the rest of the event.
- Principled Space - We do not know how the discussions will unfold and so we must acknowledge that it is not possible to guarantee complete safety. Principles will be clearly set out at the beginning of events that should be followed throughout. There will be no tolerance for racism, incitement, or hatred.
The above measures will be in place for both events hosted by the Debate society this week.
We believe that these measures will help to facilitate an open and healthy debate. Without these in place, we do not feel the event would serve its proposed purpose and as a result, should not go ahead.
We understand that this is a very heightened time for a lot of our students. We want to make it clear that no form of abuse towards any of our students or societies is tolerated at any time. We ask if anyone is experiencing any form of hatred or abuse to please report it to LSE via this link and if you are at the event to inform the Safety Officer. You can also contact the SU Advice service (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Josie Stephens (General Secretary),
Robyn McAlpine (Education Officer),
Ed Hall (Activities and Development Officer) and
Faiso Kadiye (Community and Welfare Officer).