Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Racism and Islamaphobia at Staffs University

27 March 2009 at 03:02
I have just stood in the Staffordshire University Students’ Union election for the post of President, but rather than campaigning on policy I have ended up spending the week fighting a vicious sleaze campaign.

Through the entire election campaign this week I have been a victim of systematic abuse including racist and Islamaphobic lies and comments aimed directly at me.

Though I did not stand on an Islamic platform, and did not mention my religious beliefs at all in my campaign material and manifesto, my religion has consistently been used by the opposition slate throughout the course of this week. Evidence of this is as follows:

1. Comments made by the opposition to students that I wished to introduce Sharia/Islamic law into the college (due to a racist view of my religious beliefs).
2. Comments made by the opposition to students that I would close the bar (due to a racist view of my religious beliefs).
3. Comments made by the opposition to students that I would close sports societies.
4. Comments made by the opposition to students that I would segregate the union along gender lines (due to a racist view of my religious beliefs).
5. Comments made on Facebook by the opposition campaigners on public profiles included posts calling me a “7/7 bomber” and “Osama Bin Baig” – clear references to my ethnicity and religious beliefs.
6. A racist and derogatory video was produced by a former member of the Steerings committee and union council member in Stafford directed against my slate.

Under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006, under section 29B, point 1, it is against British law to use a person’s religious views to stir up religious hatred:

“A person who uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred.”

It is my clear opinion that religious and racial hatred has been used as an electoral ploy to smear my campaign. By using a narrow, racist interpretation of my religion they have created a hysteria campaign of lies against myself and my campaign. Why was my religion an issue to them when I have not once mentioned it in any material, or campaigning on campus?

The severity of this complaint demands urgent attention. Racism in all its forms cannot be tolerated, especially in such a diverse community as that at Staffs University.

Our campus is situated in Stoke, a city with nine councilors from the British National Party, a party that threatens the safety (and life) of people such as myself on the basis of my religious beliefs and ethnicity. The fact that such racist behaviour has occurred during a student union election on campus makes me, and other Muslim and ethnic minority students, feel extremely unsafe on campus and if the union does not take action it will be indirectly legitimising such racist behaviour.

These actions have set back all the anti-racist and anti-fascist work I have done over the past three years at Staffordshire University. The Students Union is obliged to provide a safe space for all students but it has clearly not done this during this election campaign. The Student union elections were supposed to be about students and policies but instead I was forced to defend myself from a vicious sleaze campaign, explaining to students that I am not an extremist; that I do not want to ban alcohol, close down the student venue and how I will not implement Islamic law at the university.

Due to the severity of this sleaze campaign I will also be forwarding a copy of this complaint to the Trade Union Congress, National Union of Journalists, NUS Black Students’ campaign, NUS International Students Campaign, NUS NEC, Unite Against Fascism, Love Music Hate Racism and other progressive unions, organisations and activists across the country. A general press release to local, national and student media will also be sent out in due course.

Assed Baig
Written about a month ago · Comment · Unlike · Report Note
You, Malaika R, James Hilsdon, Samaira Anjum and 27 others like this.

Adam Marks at 11:29 on 30 March
"Students are one of the most open minded bunches in the country..."

Students are generally awful people, inflated, drunken little pups who think the world is their personal gravel tray. All of the above could have been summed up very simply: "shut up". This is the bigot's trump card. "Shut up, you're..." select from (1) playing the race card (2) ... Read more

Laura Norcop at 11:34 on 30 March
I'm very sorry you feel this way. My personal experience has been very different. I advise you to expand your friendship group if this is the impression you've been left as I can assure you that there are fantastic people out there. I don't believe that Assed, for one, thinks that the world is his own personal gravel tray. I think he's trying, as ... Read more

Syed Bokhari at 11:39 on 30 March
Laura, I wish it were true that everybody on campus and in broader society was as 'open-minded' as you seem to think they are. Unfortunately, this is far from the case. Students are subject to the same forces and ideas which prevail in society outside our universities. I think there are a number of problems with the implications of what you are ... Read more

Syed Bokhari at 11:41 on 30 March
by tapping into the most acceptable form of racism in society today, Islamophobia.
It is quite unfair that you are asking someone who has just suffered a vile form of racist abuse to consider what going public with this has done to some of their opposition. I know little of Staffs uni, but from reading this I had no illusions that EVERY candidate ... Read more

Syed Bokhari at 11:43 on 30 March
This would suggest that SOME of the ‘opposition... Read more

Syed Bokhari at 11:44 on 30 March
The final point you make sums up your evident lack of sympathy for what Assed as been through, and what Muslim people face in this country everyday. I don’t know who the current president is at Staffs, but she should be supporting Assed right now. You should be more concerned for what Assed has been through than how making this public might damage your president’s career. If she handles it properly it should have the opposite effect.

Laura Norcop at 11:51 on 30 March
Without writing a dissertation I couldn't even begin to forumlate an appropriate response so I'll just reiterate, I do agree with Assed's ideals, I'd love as much as I believe many would, to see a world devoid of racism...in both directions.

My concern was that Assed groups together the opposition and describes them in a defamatory manner despite... Read more

Laura Norcop at 11:58 on 30 March
And I will continue to campaign against injustice regardless of the race or colour of skin of those I feel have been abused. I won't stand for racism or racist remarks in either direction and I don't believe you have the right to suggest that the colour of my skin means you can safely assume I've experienced no racism myself. I appreciate that I ... Read more

Syed Bokhari at 12:51 on 30 March
Laura, I'm not saying that white people can't be anti-racists. What I'm saying is that you're not in the position to be able to dictate to Assed or anyone else that there isn't much racism in universities because, as you say yourself, you have not experienced any. The point I was making is perhaps you may have personally experienced little or no ... Read more

Syed Bokhari at 12:54 on 30 March
When I mentioned people "only fronting as anti-racist" I was referring in general terms to any of the opposition who were actually involved in the racist comments and smears whose anti-racist credentials you are defending. I was not specifically talking about “her... Read more

Laura Norcop at 13:01 on 30 March
I said I hadnt experienced any at this university not that I hadn't in my university years. I'm from Stoke and have been unfortunate to be subjected to walking through Hanley Park and other areas and I can sadly inform you that I've experienced intimidation, humiliation and abuse because of the colour of my skin.

Regardless, the point seems to ... Read more

Hannah Caitlin Smith at 17:08 on 30 March
I don't attend Staffs Uni, i'm actually at Lancaster, but my mum works at Staffs and reading this has horrified me - i've spent most of my life in Stoke and of course am aware of the racist nature of a lot of its inhabitants, but would never have expected this to extend to the university campus. I hope the people to blame here are made an example of, to show that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in Stoke anymore.

Carmen Appleby at 17:27 on 30 March
i'm sorry to read what you've been through, Assad, and as a Staffs Uni student myself it makes me feel so sad that this kind of thing is going on so close to home, as it were. well done for fighting back against it. Racism against anyone is unacceptable.

Gary McNally at 07:54 on 31 March
When I was campaigning with Assed and his slate in Stafford I over heard someone say "I heard they're only interested in the muslim vote." Pretty incorrect statement to be making...pretty shitty and inflamatory statement really!

This really needs to be taken very seriously. I'm up for having racists kicked out of the union myself.

Wing Yee Li at 22:07 on 31 March
Thanks Laura for engaging in a dialogue, as it shows you are trying to understand what is really going on here; some of your fellow students could benefit from taking a leaf out your book. Unfortunately, it's not just racism that's the issue; it is prejudice and discrimination in all its ugly forms at Stoke and across the country alike in our ... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 22:08 on 31 March
misguided actions. Assed has pointed out; it is against the law.

It is proven that women disproportionately experience violence from men, at home, at work, everywhere. Would you silence women from crying out injustice and seeking justice because we don... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 22:08 on 31 March
If the current Staffordshire Union Officers are open and honest with themselves, then they should admit responsibility for inciting hatred because that is the truth, whether it is the candidates themselves or their campaigners who are the perpetrators, and take the relevant steps to right their wrongs. I am sure the Another union is Possible slate ... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 22:39 on 31 March
PS. Almost 5 and a half days after the close of elections and the whole union is still hanging in limbo regarding it's officers for 09-10... if i was at Staffs my faith in my anti-racist president would be 6 feet under...

Laura Norcop at 12:47 on 01 April
Both potential presidents are extremely anti-racist! And my faith in Fee has never waivered...yes, it sounds like some very stupid and ignorant campaigner has said something entirely inappropriate...but this should be taken up with the individual and not used to undermine and smear Fee who actively works for love music hate racism and is ever ... Read more

Laura Norcop at 12:50 on 01 April
ANY stretch of the mind. But that it should have been brought up with the union and potentialy the police. Assed should realise how the media scews argument and the potential damage he was causing. I could never vote for someone who put their own personal agenda before the benefit and good of the students they ultimately wanted to represent. I'm ... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 14:23 on 01 April
Laura, I totally agree with you. I would never vote for anyone who put their own personal agenda before the greater good of their electorate; however, the Vote Staffs slate were the ones inciting hatred; the Vote Staffs slate are the abusers in this ugly picture. The candidates and the individual campaigners, including the one I already mentioned, ... Read more

Laura Norcop at 14:30 on 01 April
But you're still not listening? Fee isn't, ever will be, nor has ever been racist. Why do we have to elect in a group of people just because they have campaigned as a group?? That's the worst thing about all this, I voted for each person on their individual merits, and it's not fair that Fee is being, perhaps inadvertantly, smeared by this article... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 14:30 on 01 April
by the individuals and groups investigating the case. They were being racist without even realising it.

I... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 14:37 on 01 April
is acceptable when her Presidency is at stake????.... something doesn... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 14:54 on 01 April
say the media skews the truth: again, I completely agree with you on that too. But we don... Read more

Laura Norcop at 15:00 on 01 April
I'm not even going to rise to your final comment. Though I would like to stress that I have not actually capaigned on behalf of Fiona. I am simply a student that agrees with her work and what she has done for this univeristy as president.

My thoughts are not representational of anyone but my own opinions. I will say, however, that I believe Fee ... Read more

Laura Norcop at 15:01 on 01 April
everyone should be supporting a conclusion of the vote count and a welcoming of the new or returning president rather than undermining either candidate with speculation and negative association.

Ashley Littler at 18:58 on 01 April

Laura Norcop at 11:43 on 02 April
http://www.minoritystudents.co.uk/node/767 A prior election campaign of Assed's in which it seems accusations flew. Just thought I should bring some history to the current presidential debate.

Ashley Littler at 17:23 on 02 April
To be fair, both candidates have dragged the name of Stoke On Trent through the gutter yet again, they seem to have no decent agenda or real change and improvement. And no connection with what causes the real problems in stoke on trent. Worried about 9 old BNP members? Behave a minority party jeez

And as far as Fiona Wood goes, someone who thinks that the problems in stoke stem from the BNP, couldnt be further wrong. They need to get speaking to people to find there is a deeper rooted problem.

And turn there attention to the waste of time in the civic centre down the road. And for these reasons ill be voting for neither candidate as it seems they are both totally clueless and far more interested in a popularity contest than anything else... Read more

Sarah Nicholson at 19:21 on 06 April
excuse me i have come across this article, i am student at staffs university, i read the article an am sorry you feel there is a race attack going on, but coming from a female, white opinion you are not the only one getting the rough deal. when you walk round hanley park, getting followed and are told to get the fuck out because you are white... ... Read more

Russell Griffin at 14:52 on 08 April
are you ACTUALLY forgetting that the current team working in the union have been part of love music hate racisim? i think that the smear you are all forgetting the focus of these elections - THE STUDENTS! you are far too focussed on your petty victory and because you felt like you were loosing, you started this smear campaign by spreading completely untrue lies. and lets not forget, racism works both ways - is that not true?

Assed Baig at 15:18 on 08 April
The complaint was submitted after the close of elections, and i did not feel like i was losing. And just because people have worked with Love Music Hate Racism does it mean that they are now exempt from racism. And as for racism working both ways, well if you feel you have been hard done, or you have been accussed of things based on your ... Read more

Assed Baig at 15:23 on 08 April
poor you and your friends, they have been subjected to soooo much. They were called pakis during the campaign, and people thought they were going to ban alcohol based on a nasty rumour spread by me, based on their religion. poor you!

You have no idea of racism or what it means to live with peoples ignorance of you, your people and what you believe. So excuse me for not shedding a tear when you cannot walk through a park, when some of my epople cannot walk through streets, airports, and train stations, and are not seen as equal citizens in this country. I really do feel for some of you, i really do, it must be so hard being white in this country.

Do working class white people suffer, Yes they do, but working class Black and Asian people have to deal with racism on top of everything else. Some of our struggles are the same, but fortunatly you do not have to deal with racism... Read more

Assed Baig at 15:27 on 08 April
please educate yourselves on the politics of racis. The election here is notthe issue, it is the widre ranging problem with racism as a whole.

Just because some of you fail to see it, or have not experienced it does not mean that it is not there. When some of my campaigners are told that "you are the one that is standing with those fucking asians, you look stupid" or when people tell some of the people standing that they are "fucking Pakis" i think i should speak out against racism.

this does not mean that the opposition was involved in these individual incidents, hence i did not mention them in my statement. But i do belive there was a sleeze campaing run against us. And when i submitted the cpomplaint i said i would campaign on anti-racism issues win lose or draw. I have been campaigning on anti-racism issues long before any election came about. ... Read more

Sarah Nicholson at 16:11 on 08 April
I will apologise for that comment but i will not dismiss it, as racism works both ways and unfortunately it is part of the problems the uni is facing and within the elections. I am pleased you are working for the good of racism but you have to look from both sides of an arguement.
im am sorry i have offeneded, i did not mean to but everyone is ... Read more

Matt Henty at 17:13 on 08 April
Why is all i read here, racism this racism that?

Isn't everyone bored of hearing the same record.

I know i am.... Read more

Assed Baig at 17:19 on 08 April
then stop reading. Racism is an issue for many of us. Those of us that have got a grip still consider it an issue. And i am doing something useful :)

Matt Henty at 17:22 on 08 April
What, by saying everyone is racist?

Yeah, useful.

Assed Baig at 17:23 on 08 April
never said everyone is racist. I suggest you read again, i think you should be doing something useful

Matt Henty at 17:26 on 08 April
I am doing something useful, i'm sat at home, reading about the mumps :) (as i think i have it)

after doing a days hard work.

Not trying to cause offence, just so far, in these comments, all i'v read is about racism.

Mariam I. at 17:32 on 08 April
i think all you've read about is racism because the issue is racism. I won't repeat what Assed said but it seems like people are failing to understand the importance of highlighting these issues in society. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away, no matter how badly you might want that to happen.

Laura Norcop at 17:39 on 08 April
"So excuse me for not shedding a tear when you cannot walk through a park"...when any member of society is forced to live in fear in any aspects of their lives, I am sorry Assed, but it is worth a tear REGARDLESS of their colour.

And it wasn't something I was going to bring to this debate as it disgusted me beyond measure but if you bring into it... Read more

Laura Norcop at 17:44 on 08 April
but because you feel the need to inform us of what a few ignorant white people have said as though this reflects on anyone other than themselves! I won't name the individuals that were attacked, or the young lady that came in and reported it to me as I wouldn't like to bring this upon anyone. But as I was sat inside a friend of mine came in and ... Read more

Laura Norcop at 17:51 on 08 April
though you open on a pretence of understanding our struggles, you go on to openly mock "it must be so hard being white in this country"). You don't even pretend to be trying to represent the white majority so why are you trying to gain a position that would require you to do just that? This is supposed to be about us, the students, and all you do ... Read more

Matt Henty at 18:13 on 08 April
Nail on the Head Laura.


Assed Baig at 18:21 on 08 April
let's be staright here Laura, you are one of those 'ignorant' people. Let me break it down for you. I have never said i represent people on the basis of colour in this election so how you can talk ablout the 'white majority' is beyond me. I stood on a set of politics, and people voted for me according to that. As for personal agenda, what is my... Read more

Assed Baig at 18:26 on 08 April
people is more recognisable than their white counter parts. ANd like i have said before working class people of all backgrounds suffer, but black and asian peoplesuffer from Racism on top of everything else.

And as for the incident outside the Ember Lounge, i find it abhorent, but do i have to apolagise on behalf of every wrong act an Asian ... Read more

Assed Baig at 18:32 on 08 April
of the internet, ranting and raving about the white majority and making baseless assumptions about me and my campaign, posting links up of political disagreements i have had with people in the past and trying to discredit me, personal agenda? I think so

I apolagise for the way i voice my opinions, since you think it is 'wrong' . I must remember to play the good asian Muslim boy, nod my head and speak nicely and smile when faced with racist abuse and ignoramouses trying to defend their mates. :)

Would my opinions be easier for you to swallow if i was white? or is the fact that an Asian man stands up for something it pisses everyone off. ... Read more

Russell Griffin at 18:37 on 08 April
assed your proving the point without even realising it - i dont want a president who refers to the people he is supposed to be representing as "ignorant". it shows no decorum and certainly shows a lack of professionalism. i cant say i understand the implications of racism, but i certainly understand the implications of homophobic abuse - and on ... Read more

Assed Baig at 18:43 on 08 April
lol, you missed the point Russell by a mile. When did i play the victim? the fact that i am standing up and speaking out means i refuse to play the victim. And wher edid i say that all white people have racism built into them??? where did i say that? have you got some preconcieved ideas in your head??? And when did i ever say that those that do... Read more

James Haywood at 19:24 on 08 April
Hi, I am white and a good friend of Assad, and he doesn't consider me ignorant or racist. So Laura and Russel, stop trying to accuse him of blanketting all white people. You are either incredibly ignorant or (more likely) trying to just smear him.
Racism is not sticks and stones, it is descrimination by police, in education, in work and in the ... Read more

James Haywood at 19:27 on 08 April
By the way Russell the role of President is not to represent "every student" otherwise why an election? He has stood on an incredibly noble stand against racism, course cuts and climate change, so once elected he will be persuing those aims the majority elected him to do.
Thats basic democracy.
By the way, shame on those who have criticised Assad ... Read more

Dean Emery at 23:28 on 08 April
In relation to what Sarah said about Hanley Park - that is so true as I have experienced it myself a good number of years back and its wrong and I haven't been back there since. I think everybody here needs to find a common ground otherwise this issue of racism at Staffs will never improve. The task is tough enough as it is seeing as Stoke is a BNP... Read more

Gary McNally at 02:53 on 09 April
I honestly can not believe that this argument is even taking place. The racism directed towards the Another Union is Possible slate was real. I was shocked to witness it myself, on a university campus that I had hoped would be the breeding ground of a new dynamic anti-fascist movement in Stoke.

I heard one student walking away from leafletters in ... Read more

Gary McNally at 03:07 on 09 April
So are you saying that, given the "White majority" that only white students should stand for Student Union president? What a dangerous thing to say!

Assed represents students of all colours, races and religions. Laura, could you do the same? Given your comments earlier I don't think that you could.

I back Assed 100% in this argument. Assed and I disagree on some issues, but racism is not one of them! There is no place for racism on this campus, not least given the rise of the Nazi BNP in the city.... Read more

Damir Faruk Saračević at 03:26 on 09 April
stay strong man!

Charley Hasted at 03:26 on 09 April
You know what I have officially had enough! I am not racist and am sick of having it constantly implied that by supporting the current officer team I must be! I got stuck on bloody redwatch for my anti-facist activities in London. I campaigned with the votestaffs slate and at no point in my hearing did any of the candidates utter anything like the ... Read more

Gary McNally at 04:04 on 09 April
The investigation isn't as far as I'm aware specifically targeted against the current officer team. There was however racism in the election. This racism must be investigated. I know it is frustrating! But trying to find out where this racism started from is more important than anything else right now!

I certainly wasn't implying that you are racist, but some of the arguments of people online have been, undoubtedly racist and devisive.

What is clear is that there was racism in this election. Asian candidates were intimmidated at the Stoke hustings, steerings picked out and threw away questions regarding this at the Stafford hustings the next day, posters for Asian candidates were ripped down within an hour and a half of them being put up.... Read more

Gary McNally at 04:05 on 09 April
Why you didn't campaign with Another Union is Possible I don't know, but seriously, you need to look at which side of the argument you're on.

Charley Hasted at 05:55 on 09 April
I know which side of the argument I am on... it's kind of an intrisic part of actually having an argument.

I didn't campaign with Another union is possible because to be brutally honest I simply didn't think their manifesto was detailed enough or in many ways actually practicable and where it was this was more than amply covered by votestaffs. ... Read more

Assed Baig at 11:43 on 09 April
??? The shiesha lounge is not illegal. And who called the toilets an abomination? i voted for them at council. You really need to get yourself sorted out Charley. Get your argument straight. Enjoy your time witht the racists

Charley Hasted at 12:36 on 09 April
the shisha lounge is infact illegal as it qualifies as smoking and you can't smoke indoors under UK law.

I would tell you but having some concept of what reputation management actually entails and not wanting to drag somebodies name through the mud in a public forum I'm not going to post it on a comment section on facebook

Assed Baig at 19:47 on 09 April
who said we were going to have it inside? did you bother to ask?

Wing Yee Li at 20:11 on 09 April
The “Get Educated” Easter Reading List

{ For The Socio-politically Uneducated: also recommended for the rest of you }

Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ (1899)... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 20:14 on 09 April
addressed. Or you could... Read more

Wing Yee Li at 20:14 on 09 April
in question here, but we need to be specific and practical in challenging it.

Wing Yee Li at 20:34 on 09 April

Assed Baig at 21:20 on 11 April
you obviously have not read much. I did not stop the count. And if people did not vote for me they have not been accussed of racism. The entire complaint is about racism being used as a tool by the opposition. Again, i submitted the complaint after the close of voting. And as for all failing, we will have to wait until the vote is counted

Assed Baig at 22:16 on 11 April
the evidence has been handed to the university. There is no need for me to put my evidence up with a statement. I did not fear i have lost the election and i have made it perfectly clear to the returning officer that a re-run of the elections is not an option. so your theory in me wanting the sympothy vote is wrong.

And congratulations on ... Read more

Assed Baig at 23:27 on 11 April
i cannot recall meeting or talking to you. And as for questioning me, i'm always up for people questioning me, discussion and debate. The offer still stands, but as before the election, your mind is already made up, as you are supporting your friends. I stand on political principals. And i do not avoid anything and definatly do not need anyone ... Read more

Charley Hasted at 18:12 on 14 April
lounge does rather imply inside and how precisely do you propose to have a lounge outside in stoke or stafford in any case?

Assed Baig at 00:28 on 15 April
take a quick trip to Manchester Wilmslow road, and Edgware road in London and you will find out

Charley Hasted at 00:44 on 15 April
yay a shisha lounge outside... in stoke... it'd be unusable 99% of the time due to rain/wind

Assed Baig at 00:45 on 15 April
does not need to be outside, like i said take a look at Wilmslow and Edgware road

Charley Hasted at 20:31 on 18 April
well it's very simple assed. There is inside and outside legally you cannot have it inside and thusly by definition it has to be outside and has to be less than 50% enclosed not including a roof.

So please outline your great plan as to how you're going to make it something that students actually want to use in all weathers considering that data ... Read more

Assed Baig at 21:59 on 18 April
thank you for the weather forcast Charley. Like i have said you can have a shisha lounge inside, but can modify the building so it fits the law requirements. Have you never been to Wilmslow road?? maybe you should take a trip, take your friends, i can be a field trip for all of you, you know go and see the minorities, it may even be educational for the likes of you

Charley Hasted at 00:48 on 19 April
The likes of me Assed? I grew up in Brixton and spent a hell of a lot of time round Whitechapel, Soho and Chinatown mate so don't even try to go there.

You cannot have a shisha lounge inside in any way shape or form you CAN have a covered area outside but given the infor in my last comment how precisely do you intend to make it useable without us... Read more

Assed Baig at 00:56 on 19 April
well done for growing up in Brixton, really seems to have educated you on racism

look, i have plans. i researched it and the best way i v=can explain it is to show you. but it is ok, you don't have tp sit outside nd surely you should have asked these questions before the elections, but then again you ahve already made up your mind

Charley Hasted at 01:13 on 19 April
You know what Assed grow up. You can't argue that visiting somewhere to 'see the minorities' would be educational and then dismiss my living and socailising for 20 years in areas with considerable black/chinese/south asian populations would not have educated me.

The best way for you to tell me what you have planned would be to actually tell me ... Read more

Assed Baig at 01:19 on 19 April
Charley, you sided with the opposition over this issue, what are your intentions??

You can have a shiesha lounge inside, but modify two of the walls, so it is considered outdoor. On edgware road they provide nice blankets to keep you warm.

I have had enough of you Charley, you are reactionary and your politics around racism are shit. so get lost :)

Charley Hasted at 01:40 on 19 April
so far as I'm aware the opposition offered no opinion about the validity of a shisha lounge.

You really need to get over this childish idea that simply because people don't treat every word that comes from your mouth like solid gold that this means they are bigoted/reactionary/racist (delete as applicable depending on what you think you can get ... Read more

Assed Baig at 01:42 on 19 April
whatever you say Charley, whatever makes you feel important. you going to write a note know about how officially pissed off you are

Charley Hasted at 02:02 on 19 April
think you'll find I already did that :) I really don't give a shit about feeling important, unfortunatley for all of us you don't seem to share this feeling.

I care about the fact that you seem to want to introduce something that will cost what may amount to a large chunk of money yet seem incredibly unwilling to offer any justification or ... Read more

Assed Baig at 02:12 on 19 April
Another union is possible, free from racists. Another union is possible where officers stand by their manifesto pledges, stnd by what they were elected for.

Where was your questioning about the failure of the winter ball??? Did you carry outr a consultation for the transgender toilets (which i vorted for btw)???

double standards. go chill with your racist mates, and you can all talk about how racism does not exist and how you are all openminded and know all about racism... Read more

Charley Hasted at 02:55 on 19 April
Just because my questioning takes the form of speaking to people personally rather than ranting to facebook doesn't make it any less valid.

Yes I did consult on the gender neutral toilets and unless you're stalking me (which I sincerely hope you're not) how can you have any idea how many students I've spoken to or consulted with or campaigned with... Read more

Assed Baig at 10:47 on 19 April
who called you a racist? and don't threaten me please? i don't take well to threats.

and if you say your friends are not racist, then with your vast knowledge of racism, you must be right.lol

James Meadway at 11:03 on 19 April
I don't think Assed has called you a racist, Charley. He's simply said your politics around racism are "shit", which on the basis of the discussion above is a blunt but justifiable comment. (The utter failure of imagination regarding the shisha lounge is just quite amusing by comparison.)

Good luck with it all, Assed. There's a certain smug ... Read more

Alex Donald at 15:40 on 19 April
Wow..this is some pretty ideological polarised shit that doesn't look like it'll go away any time soon. Personally I think you all need to get off your soapboxes and start listening and compromising for once.

I'm sure most students at Staffs are fed up with this hatred and name-calling and just want to get on with their lives.

Also I'd hurry up resolving this before it hits national tabloids - that won't do ANYONE any good.

Charley Hasted at 17:32 on 19 April
Alright I'll play. Go through my friends list and tell me which ones of my friends are racist so I can inform them I no longer wish to associate with them as you say to know so much more than me about it.

As for the shisha lounge I don't require faith, faith is reserved for religion and other such things for which there can be no proof. I have ... Read more

Assed Baig at 17:50 on 19 April
you see the thing with Charley is that Charley likes to feel important. Charley wants to stand for President, so opposition to me, now, will give Charley, maybe, some support for next year.

Well Charley you are very important, if you cannot understand what i'm saying about the Shisha lounge fine. If you are worried about the weather, i'm sure you'll find a way to keep warm. If elected, students have put their trust in me to carry out my Manifesto pledges, let me worry about that, i know what i am doing. I never mentioned having faith in me, i don't want your faith.

I am an activist that campaigns, a Shisha lounge is not a massive campaign, it is something simple, that the Union employs staff to deal with. I have the idea, i have the plans of the buildings, as to possible locations. Students approached me with the idea, i listened. It will happen, regardless of the weather, it will comply with the law.... Read more

Charley Hasted at 19:11 on 19 April
persecution complex much? I haven't actually decided whether or not I want to stand for any sabbatical posistion next year let alone president so how you've managed to work that out I don't know. I could give a shit about opposing you I just wanted to know how you were planning on giving students a shisha lounge that was enjoyable to use all year ... Read more

Dominic Kouros Kavakeb at 19:44 on 19 April
Rah this all reminds me of when I won Presidency at Essex. It's so interesting watching people always go on bout how anti racist they are and yet as soon as their grip on power appears to loosen they are quite happy to use racism to eliminate the threat. Such a response can only mean that Assed poses a threat to the comfortable and meaningless status quo. So well done Assed you must be doing something right for these people to be so scared of you!

Charley Hasted at 20:21 on 19 April
Hi Dominic, nice to see you around haven't seen you in ages, hope life's treating you well.

Dominic Kouros Kavakeb at 20:23 on 19 April
Oh yeeeaaaaah SSAW days.....didn't realise you're the same person! You should stop fighting with Assed, he is an incredible guy who has done so much for the student movement!

Charley Hasted at 20:54 on 19 April
Like I said I have a lot of time for Assed as an activist and a campaigner but he sucks as a politician lol it's an entirley different skill set that with the best will in the world Assed doesn't have.

I would be happy to see a shisha lounge on campus, I enjoy shisha I just don't see how he plans on doing it and really don't like being talked down... Read more

John Cox at 01:30 on 20 April
Like it or not, these are the hall marks of many a student union campaign for election. Some promise 24 hour library access, without thinking of the cost implication or just how hard it will be to obtain it. Others, as in a campus not to far from me in 2003, promise to mow down the vice chancellor with a robin reliant. A lot vow just to maintain... Read more

Assed Baig at 19:40 on 20 April
I have never targetted all students with same brush. I said win lose or draw i will campaign against racism, i did it before the election and i will continue afterwards. Racism was used in the election campaign against me. I will not drop it. The issue of racism is more important, and we need to tackle it head on

Jennifer Jones at 19:50 on 20 April
don't allow people to stop you campaigning against racism assed. its disgusting what i witnessed first hand at Staffs but I really hope you will change the atmosphere to be more inclusive to all. people who are racist will attempt to stop you challenging racism but we in the student movement simply can't afford to let them win. enjoy your success president-elect! clearly the majority of students at Staffs want anti-racist president who's ready to stand up for students rights

Assed Baig at 19:51 on 20 April
good, then we can work together than, look forward to it :)

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