SMT statement on Middle East crisis

This page sets out the position of Goldsmiths' Senior Management Team (SMT) in relation to the crisis in the Middle East. It was published and shared with students and staff on 16 February 2024.

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As set out in our previous statement, SMT recognises that it cannot speak for the whole community on this deeply complex issue and at the same time has a responsibility to ensure the safeguarding and wellbeing of all students and staff.

To this end we continue to call for all at Goldsmiths to speak and act in ways which hold at the centre the human pain, loss and suffering being experienced in the ongoing crisis and we have put in place additional support for students and staff through our wellbeing channels. The multi-faith Chaplaincy is also playing a critical role in this work, with these colleagues sharing a message of support earlier this academic year.

Goldsmiths SMT believes that the situation in the Middle East is devastating and condemns the disregard shown for the fundamental human rights of Israeli and Palestinian civilians. We join with international voices to call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire for all, release of all hostages and urge all parties involved in ongoing talks to push forward to reach agreement. Ending the war and finding meaningful peace must be the priority of all those in the region who have the power to bring about positive change.

We are absolutely committed to upholding academic freedom and freedom of speech. We urge our community to remember that this means acting and speaking within the law. We recognise students’ and staff rights to protest. We also note a significant rise across society in reports and experiences of Antisemitism and Islamophobia and we condemn this and all forms of hate speech. We ask that students, staff and visitors follow our guidelines to ensure that demonstrations over any issues go ahead safely and with respect for the whole of our community.

We are actively exploring what assistance we can offer to beleaguered colleagues in Gaza through networks like the Council for At-Risk Academics, and are also looking at what practical support we can offer to staff and students at institutions in the region by developing existing relationships our institution holds. This support will, naturally, be important not just now but also during the long period of rebuilding that will be needed. In line with this, we remain committed to our Humanitarian Scholarships and have committed to increasing the level of this support which is available to postgraduate students from the region.

As we have previously seen, the crisis has prompted questions over how the College operates including our financial interests. The College moved all its investments to the COIF Charities Ethical Investment Fund in 2019 following a community campaign calling for divestment from fossil fuel companies. We had occasion to double-check the ethical principles of this Fund in 2021 when unfounded claims were made about the College's investment strategy. The outcome of this was presented in a Statement on investment claims (PDF). We remain satisfied that the fund takes a robust approach to reviewing firms to ensure they do not infringe the ethics of the COIF Charities Ethical Investment Fund.

Goldsmiths SMT
SMT is responsible for overseeing the academic and administrative leadership of Goldsmiths.

Support from Goldsmiths    

Wellbeing help

Students and colleagues can access 24/7 support from Goldsmiths.

The best way to access this help is to visit the webpages which set out the types of support we offer alongside details of specialist external agencies.

Multi-Faith Chaplaincy  

Our Multi-Faith Chaplaincy is here for everyone at Goldsmiths, regardless of your beliefs or faith tradition. The team offer non-judgemental support and a compassionate ear whatever difficulties you may be facing.    

Reporting harassment  

Students, staff and visitors can use our Report and Support system to report any kind of harassment – including racist incidents. Reports can include your contact details or can be anonymous and are reviewed regularly by our trained triage team.