We Want Truth, Goldsmiths

Our demands


As we continue to gather evidence on sexual harassment at Goldsmiths, we would like to clarify our motivations and demands in starting this campaign.

As Sara Ahmed wrote in her blog post detailing more about her resignation, there was “one individual who has since left the college after two enquiries” and there have been “six enquiries relating to four members of staff: at least that I know of” at Goldsmiths. Goldsmiths’ clumsy statement on sexual harassment was criticised by the organisers of the Sexual Harassment in Higher Education conference. We agree that Goldsmiths’ attempted appropriation of students’ labour in organising this conference is shameful.

Pro-warden Professor Jane Powell’s more tactful statement on June 6th 2016 was, according to SHHEGoldsmiths, “the first official, public acknowledgement that we have seen of this fact” – the fact being Goldsmiths’ history of sexual harassment. Jane Powell’s sentence reads: “So when cases arise here, as they have, it is simultaneously dispiriting and encouraging. ”  This small sentence, buried in the middle of a 1000+ word open letter speaks volumes, as it tries tirelessly to strike a positive tone. As the organisers of SHHEGoldsmiths explain, they organised the event out of a necessity brought about by Goldsmiths’ institutional silence. The admission that “cases” “have arisen” should not be mentioned amidst an exhalation. These “cases” have poisoned campus life and must be dealt with accordingly. It is not only to the detriment to Goldsmiths students and staff, but to other students and staff all around the world that severe cases of sexual harassment over several years have been buried.

In an email in response to Goldsmiths, we laid out our demands (UPDATED 30th July 2016):