Original Publication: The Tab, 29 May 2015
Our Communications officer is in trouble for backing up Bahar Mustafa
Goldsmith’s Uni’s Bahar Mustafa is all over the news for banning white people and men from attending her events.
And now someone at the Student Union was desperate to bring some of the controversy Sussex’s way.
The Badger isn’t allowed to name them, but we can exclusively reveal our Communications Officer, Michael Segalov, is believed to be the culprit.
A suspicious Tweet stating “The Students’ Union Executive has collectively agreed that we #supportbaharmustafa and the right of liberation groups to self organise” was posted on the official USSU account.
But it looks like no formal decision was ever made to back the controversial Bahar Mustafa.
As Diversity Officer for Goldsmith’s University, Bahar Mustafa first faced negative press after her decision to hold an event that barred white people and men from attending.
Mustafa’s statements such as: “I, an ethnic minority woman, cannot be sexist or racist towards white men because racism and sexism describes structures of privilege based on race and gender”, as well as her use of the hashtag #killallwhitemen only made things worse.
One Sussex Union Official, rumoured to be Michael Segalov, has been placed under investigation for “making these remarks without due process”, according to the Student Union’s official statement released yesterday.
Segalov was named as under investigation in student newspaper The Badger’s initial report on the incident.
However it appears publishers of the Student’s Union’s newspaper used its authority to force The Badger to remove the article.
A Student’s Union spokesperson said: The student media charter outlining the roles and responsibilities of the Students’ Union, media volunteers and contributors states that student media will not “publish content naming students or staff going through University or Students’ Union disciplinary processes whilst these are ongoing without their permission.”
The Badger article has since been replaced with a “who could it be” header dragging in innocent members of the SU for an offence carried out by Segalov alone.
Commenting on the forced switch around, a student closely associated with The Badger stated on Facebook: “In my opinion/experience The Badger is routinely and frequently censored by the Union.
“The paper cannot be sent to print without approval by an officer or some USSU staff member. Censorship has been a major issue for many years at USSU but we can’t talk about it at risk of the paper being shut down”.
In response to this claim, a Student’s Union spokesperson said: “As the legal publishers of The Badger, the Students’ Union has a duty to ensure the content is accurate and non-defamatory to protect the Union from potential legal action.”
They added: “To do so the Union offers legal training to media contributors and the paper is checked by a trained officer or staff member prior to going to print.”
This is also believed to be the second time that Segalov has been investigated for making tweets from the USSU page presenting his personal opinion as the Union’s official stance, after an instance during the #CopsOffCampus protest in February.
Maybe it’s time the USSU let someone else control its Twitter feed.