Several antisemitic and racist messages were sent in a group chat of Warwick students living in Heronbank accommodation.
(Trigger warnings: Racism, antisemitism)
Screenshots of the WhatsApp group chat, seen by the The Boar, show racist and antisemitic comments sent by two different individuals to one student.
The comments said “soo wheres that nasty ass stupid jew”, “kill all jews” and “hail hitler”. Another user said “kill em all” in response to the original messages.
One of them, when challenged by the student, said that the group chat was for “racists and homophobes only”.
It is unknown whether the two individuals are Warwick students.
The group chat is not managed by the University, but Warwick students tend to join their respective accommodation chats at the start of the academic year.
An anonymous Warwick student, who got in touch with The Boar, said the comments were directed towards a student.
The University told The Boar: “As it says on the report and support web page ‘Everyone at the University of Warwick, whether studying, working, or visiting, has the right to feel safe.
“Harassment of any kind is completely unacceptable, and our community is an environment where prejudice and socially unacceptable behaviour are never tolerated.
“This should be reported with the information you say you have that it was directed to a Warwick student and by Warwick students so it can be quickly and thoroughly investigated.”
Toby Kunin and Yuval Ben-Arzi co-presidents of Warwick Jewish Israeli Society (JISoc), provided the following statement on behalf of the society: “We are disgusted to see these violent, racist messages targeted at one of our members.
“We have been working with the police and community security trust to ensure the victims safety and that the perpetrator is dealt with.
“Warwick should be a safe place for all students, including Jewish students, and antisemitism should not have a place on campus.”
Update (13.11.2020 17.05): The University of Warwick said: “Investigations are continuing but so far it appears that those who posted the offensive comments to this external chat group are not Warwick students.”
For anyone who has been affected by the issues raised in this article, there are lots of places you can turn to for help and support. Warwick Wellbeing Support Services are available through the Wellbeing Portal, online or over the phone. NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust are offering online or over the phone urgent support for anyone suffering from mental health issues. More information can be found on their website. Charities such as MIND also have information, guidance and support available online.