Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Student union leader tells undergraduates to stay home... unless they're black, poor, disabled or LGBTQ


A student union leader in Britain said black, transgender, gay, disabled, and poor people should be allowed to return to class, while straight, able-bodied white people who are not poor should stay home, out of fear of creating a so-called “second wave” of coronavirus infections.

Larissa Kennedy, president of the National Union of Students, warned it was too dangerous for undergraduates to flood campuses but said exceptions should be made for those from certain backgrounds.

‘Working-class students’ should, she said, be able to live on campus because their homes might not ‘have all the facilities including technology and broadband’ to study remotely while non-white students should also be able to return, as ‘we know that students of colour are disproportionately [living] in crowded households and disproportionately hold caring responsibilities’.

Disabled students could require ‘equipment, support, other reasonable adjustments’ not available at home, she went on, and gay, bisexual and transgender students could ‘find themselves in [family] environments that are homophobic or transphobic, and need to leave those’.

Kennedy stressed the groups she identified were not an ‘exhaustive’ list and there might be other individuals who would need to live at university because they could not study effectively at home. 

The 22-year old was elected to her position as president of the National Union of Students (NUS) in April of this year.

Kennedy told The Guardian in August that she has a long history of political activism, previously campaigning against sexual harassment in schools and serving as the president of the antiracism society at Warwick University.

She said that she became interested in “how misogyny, racism, classism and other forms of oppression become reproduced by the education system” and that one of her main goals as president of the union will be to “decolonise” the British education system.