The President of the Southampton Students Union resigned yesterday, after calling for a World War One mural to be painted over.
Last month, Emily Dawes, 21, tweeted that a mural dedicated to students of the university who had died in action in the First World War, should be taken down, as it was only dedicated to “white men.” Her tweets were deleted, but can be seen below:
Dawes was then met with wide-reaching criticism online, including tweets from self-professed “liberals”:
The mural doesn't actually depict Southampton Uni students, it represents all of the students who became soldiers when called, some who never came back. Ttaking this down would be a massive dishonour. This is one liberal you've put off, and we're your biggest allies.— Tom Guida (@TomGuida) October 25, 2018
Dawes was then placed on leave until Remembrance Day had passed. Yesterday, she put out a statement, saying that after”careful consideration”, she had decided to resign from her role as President:
I sincerely apologise for the offence and disrespect caused by my earlier comments, which were misinformed. I acted impulsively and as such fully accept how careless and hurtful my words were. I’ve had a wonderful time as President and am sad to be leaving. All my thanks go to everyone who has supported me throughout my Presidency, and I wish the team and the Union all the best.
In a tweet, the University said that they “respect Emily’s decision and will continue to provide her with support.”
Two petitions had been launched calling from Emily’s resignation, with one reaching over 21,000 signatures. This was started by Dan Lake, a third-year history student, who felt that her comments were completely out of line:
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but she used a Twitter account for work which is supposed to be representative of the students. What she said is not representative of us at all. The university runs associations with naval squadrons and the armed forces, and people who study here have family that served. It’s a mural for people who left university to fight and didn’t come back.
Members of the Student Union have repeatedly refused to comment on Emily’s return, and she has since made her Twitter account private.
About Ciaran Murray
Ciaran Murray is the Founder of Sabre’s Edge Media.