Mr Mullan was recently cleared of racism by the National Union of Students, who had been investigating the incident after a complaint from Black Students Officer Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy.
However, the Trustees of KCLSU are continuing to investigate the incident, which occurred at a conference at the University of York in August.
At the conference a role-play activity was organised where groups of delegates were asked to discuss the issue of widening participation. The exercise was based around a fictitious university with a largely Black local community.
Although it has not been identified precisely what Mr Mullan said, Ms Ribeiro-Addy alleged that Black students present felt his comments had implied a connection between increasing participation to the largely Black local population and an increase in gun and knife crime on the fictitious campus.
After the end of the NUS investigation, Mullan released an official statement, in which he spoke of his “genuine concerns” at the increasing amount of knife and gun crime, particularly in and around London. He also pointed out that “the only people I referred to as undesirable on a campus were any persons who carried a gun or a knife.”
A source who attended the conference told The Founder they felt Mr Mullan’s team had been unaware of the demographic of the local population. Our source told us that Mullan was therefore unaware of any racial connotations which could be attached to his comments.
During its enquiry, the NUS agreed that Mr Mullan had not intended to cause offence; indeed he had not implicitly spoken of the link he allegedly made between Black people and knife crime. In a statement, the NUS argue that whilst the President’s comments may have been “inappropriate…[they] had not been motivated by any racist agenda.”
The NUS investigation concluded that there had been a breach of the Unions’ Equal Opportunities Policy, but decided not to uphold complaints of racism. Instead, Mullan was to attend training related to widening participation before attending further non-democratic NUS events.
However, on 10th September 2008, the trustees of KCLSU decided to suspend Chris Mullan on full pay. On the 22nd September the trustees began their own investigation into the allegations against Mullan. This investigation is, according to the latest statement released by KCLSU on 13th October, still ongoing.
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