Stop cultural appropriation

Anonymous submitted on

Friday 10th August 2018


i recently had a look at the grad ball pictures and was very disappointed by cultural things being used as fancy dress props. 

A turban means something very strong and religious to me and many other hindu and sikhs, its not a prop for you to use in your photo booth as a cool fancy dress to pretend to look Indian  

Maybe if you made even an ounce of effort to get international students involved with the union, someone in the union would have said that to you, about how INAPPROPRIATE that was. 


Let's keep this space positive and respectful! Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions, but please remember to keep the conversation friendly and avoid any offensive comments.

Emily Harrison submitted on

Wednesday 5th September 2018


Hi there,

Apologies for the delay in responding to your enquiry.

Firstly, I apologise for any offence caused at the time, this was certainly not the intention.

This issue has been fed back to the external supplier who provided the photo booth and associated props, including the prop in question, at the event. It has now been confirmed that that particular prop will not be used at future events at the Union.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention and I hope that this is a positive outcome. 

As a Union, we try to work extensively with international students, through the many international clubs and societies which we provide funding for and work with to host events and meet ups on a daily basis. We also hold a two-week long Culture Festival every year in February which celebrates all aspects of international culture, including food and drinks, music, art and dance. As part of this, last year we decorated the concourse in the Union building for Lunar New Year, held Persian Fire Jump festival and hosted a Global Village, a fantatsic day where a multitude of clubs and societies came together to showcase the best of their international cultures. 

We also run an extensive programme for pre-sessional students in the Summer which includes day trips to places such as Bath and similar surrounding areas, free sports sessions, cinema screenings and BBQs. We also recently took over 1300 pre-sessional and Postgraduate students to a Southampton FC game which recieved overwhelmingly positive feedback.

However, we always welcome ways that we can improve and build upon our offer so if you have any feedback or suggestions for what else we can be doing to engage with international students, please do drop me an email to!

All the best,

Emily Harrison, VP Student Communities 2018-19