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Statement from the Philosophy Department

​​The Durham Philosophy Department wholly values and supports its students, one and all. We take seriously our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our mission as educators. We celebrate the value of diversity, recognizing that a variety of backgrounds and perspectives strengthens us, making for better decision making and providing a source of new ideas and challenges to accepted ways of thinking. The Durham Philosophy Department will not tolerate any bullying, aggression, harassment or abuse, which we take to include micro-aggressions and other patterns of unwelcome behaviour, including misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and classism. We believe that philosophy has an indispensable role in tackling the challenges of the age and crises facing humanity. Our mission is to educate our students, readying them to be among the best of rigorous, creative and critical thinkers in the UK and beyond. We are 100% committed to maintaining a supportive and just working environment in pursuing this mission.

In light of these commitments, the Department of Philosophy at Durham University is deeply concerned by reports of the events at South College on Friday, Dec 3, 2021. 

Every student at Durham University, regardless of their class, race, gender, marital status, religion, or any other status, has the right to live and study at this university free from bullying and harassment (Sec. 1.1 of the Bullying & Harassment Policy and Procedure for Students, 2021/22 revision).  

  • No student should ever be compelled, in the context of a social setting, to listen to speech that they find distasteful, unpleasant, hateful, or undermining of themselves or others as persons.
  • No student should be patronized or verbally abused for exercising their free speech rights.
  • No student should be patronized or verbally abused when removing themselves from situations that they find unworthy of their attention and consideration.

We especially want to affirm that trans, non-binary, LBGTQ+ people and people of colour are valuable members of our university community and deserve to be treated as such, and that those who challenge hateful views should not have their place at university questioned.

We join others in calling upon the senior management of Durham University to treat these events with the gravity and concern that a thorough and sincere commitment to the University's principles of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion requires.