Join the Conversation at Ayrshire College

Join the Conversation at Ayrshire College

Ayrshire College is marking the start of the College’s Hate Crime Awareness Week (4-8 October) and Black History Month by asking staff and students to take action to support a new college pledge.

The pledge makes it clear that there is no place for hate in the College and the local communities it serves:

‘Ayrshire College condemns hate crime in all its forms and is committed to being a safe and inclusive place. Any act motivated by prejudice or hate against a person because of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity is unacceptable. Ayrshire College is a community that thrives on respect and lives its Values of Respectful, Open and Honest, and Supportive.’

To support the message of the pledge, Claire Bysouth, Police Liaison Officer, and Sara Turkington, Equality and Inclusion Advisor, are hosting drop-in sessions across the week as well as two online Conversation Cafes on Wednesday and Thursday for students and staff.

There will also be an opportunity to ask Ayrshire Police Division Area Commander Chief Superintendent, Faroque Hussain, questions at a live Q and A session on Ayrshire College’s Facebook page.

Police Liaison Officer, Claire Bysouth said “Hate crime takes many forms and can be verbal or physical. It has hugely damaging effects on victims, their families and communities, and we all must play our part to challenge it.

“Ayrshire College is a Third Party Reporting Centre where students and staff can report hate crime in a safe and familiar environment.

“Police Scotland takes hate crime very seriously and will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice. We are committed to dealing with hate crime and thoroughly investigate all reports made to us.”

Claire Bysouth took up the position in January 2021 and has been instrumental in raising awareness of hate crime across the College through her student workshops, staff training on Third Party Reporting and Keep Safe, and now, a new College Hate Crime Awareness week.

The College pledge is being supported by the Ayrshire’s College Student Association who have pledged to:

‘We are a campus community made up of multiple, intersecting identities. Ayrshire College Students’ Association condemns Hate Crime in all its forms and pledges its support by ensuring our diverse community is represented within the College and has a voice. We will call out behaviours that aren’t consistent with the College’s vision and will provide safe spaces for our students to come together, create networks and raise awareness.’

Student Association Advisor, Charlotte Mitchell said “Ayrshire College is a fantastic place to learn and work and is enhanced by the diversity of its students and staff. This campaign is important as it raises awareness of what constitutes a Hate Crime and how we all have a responsibility to call others out on words and actions that are harmful to others. As a student association we will continue to ensure that every student who comes to college will feel represented and valued and free to express opinions and share experiences in a safe and inclusive environment”.

The pledge is part of a series of actions the College is taking against hate crime including the introduction of a new online reporting tool, Report + Support, from the end of October this year. To underline how seriously the College takes these matters, its Equality Outcomes 2021-2025, a legislative responsibility, includes the ambition that students and staff with protected characteristics most likely to experience hate, report that they feel safe while engaged in study or work at Ayrshire College.

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