Nottingham Trent University expels student for ‘antisemitic’ dating app photo

Image was ‘completely unacceptable’ and not part of their culture, institution says

Eleanor Busby
Education Correspondent
Friday 25 October 2019 19:01 BST
NTU says there is zero tolerance for racial hatred on campus
NTU says there is zero tolerance for racial hatred on campus

A student whose dating app profile picture featured a Palestinian flag photoshopped over the mouth of a sleeping Jewish man on the Underground has been expelled from his university.

The first-year had placed the image on his Tinder profile and it is thought that it was spotted by another student, who then posted it on Twitter where it was shared hundreds of times and widely criticised.

After it was brought to the attention of Nottingham Trent University (NTU), he was suspended.

Now, the institution has confirmed that the fresher has been expelled over the “offensive content”.

It said the behaviour was “completely unacceptable” and not part of their culture.

“We launched an investigation the moment we were made aware of a screen grab which showed unacceptable behaviour from a student on their personal profile,” a spokesperson said.

“The student – who had not yet started his first year at the university – was immediately identified, interviewed and suspended, and a university disciplinary panel was convened to decide upon appropriate action.”

It added: “During our investigation, we were informed that a Palestinian flag had been superimposed over the mouth of a man in the image. This behaviour was completely unacceptable and is not recognised as part of our university’s culture. We have a diverse, inclusive and global community of which we are proud, and we endeavour to create an atmosphere of mutual trust, harmony and respect.

“Any behaviour which deviates from this will not be tolerated at NTU.”

Commending the institution for “swiftly dealing with this incident”, Daniel Kosky, campaigns organiser of the Union of Jewish Students, said: “We are disgusted by the antisemitic photo circulating online. There can be no place for antisemitism in society or on campus.”

Binyomin Gilbert, programme manager at Campaign Against Antisemitism, added: “This is what zero tolerance of antisemitism looks like, and other universities should learn from Trent’s example.

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News of the expulsion came as National Union of Students (NUS) officers have released a joint statement expressing their “disgust” at recent antisemitic activity on UK campuses.

A University of Leicester student was recently reported to be pictured wearing a white T-shirt with the hand-written slogan “Hitler wanted my kind alive” during a social event.

And earlier this year, The Independent revealed that Jewish student societies have been forced to organise their own security at social events amid growing concerns about antisemitism on campus.

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