Hong Kong and Taiwanese student representatives today presented the Students’ Union President, Jake Verity, with a list of demands in response to allegations surrounding the conduct of Sissi Li in her position as the International Students’ Officer.
The meeting was attended by Hong Kong and Taiwanese student representatives, alongside Dominic Fairbrass, the SU’s Medicine Councillor and Jake Verity on Friday (14 February).
Raising concerns over the conduct of the International Students’ Officer, and of the Students’ Union’s response to allegations reported by Forge Press, two demands were asked of the SU President.
It is understood by all parties involved that the terms of the demands are non-negotiable. If rejected there will be public calls for the resignation of Sissi Li.
One demand asks that the Students’ Union publicly condemn the statements made by Sissi Li reported in Forge Press, while the other asks Sissi Li to publicly apologise not just for the offence caused by the statements she made, but also for the content of the statements themselves.
These demands come after Forge Press revealed that Hong Kong and Taiwanese students have been left feeling “disappointed” and “shocked” after the ISO admitted to writing a series of posts on her personal social media account that potentially contributed to making tensions worse between East Asian student groups over the past semester.
In an initial statement to Forge Press, Sissi Li admitted to making the posts and apologised to anybody who felt concerned by the posts. She also stressed her commitment to representing all international student voices at the University and Students’ Union.
Jake Verity has until Monday 17 February at 5.00pm to either agree or disagree to the demands made by Hong Kong and Taiwanese student representatives. If accepted, the President and the ISO have until 5.00pm on Tuesday (18 February) to issue statements.
Dominic Fairbrass, speaking exclusively to Forge Press, described the meeting as “energetic”, adding that: “It is clear to see that statements made by the International Students’ Officer as reported in Forge Press have resulted in widespread fear and anger amongst Hong Kong and Taiwanese students on campus.
“These statements have raised concerns surrounding the impartiality of the International Students’ Officer towards certain groups within our Union and have undermined the cultural and national identity of minority students on campus.
“We believe these demands to be reasonable and modest and we hope that Jake Verity will recognise and accept these demands as such.”
Jake Verity declined to comment until a decision had been taken on Monday.