Zulu Warrior chant spared at Student Council

Alicia Hooper

The Student Council met for the usual deliberation and votes for different members’ motions on certain King’s related issues. This was a significant meeting as it was the first to be filmed ready to broadcast to King’s students who hold an interest in the Council’s discussions. From now on, all Council meetings shall now be filmed and posted online for people to view.

The meeting began with the highly controversial and divisive motion for the banning of the Zulu warrior chant on KCLSU premises. The chant is commonly heard in the Waterfront by sports teams such as those who regularly play rugby. The chant is used as a type of drinking game e.g. one person in a group has to drink their pint while the others chant. While some say that this is not racist, others disagree and have taken offence as they believe the song to be linked to the treatment of the Zulus by the British Army during the Anglo-Zulu war.

Theo Williams (Arts and Humanities School Representative) was in favour of the motion and explained that although people using the chant may not mean to offend, ‘there doesn’t have to be intent behind something for it to be offensive’.

Lydia Gray (Social Sciences and Public Policy School Representative) read a statement from the KCL rugby team. The speech argued that the team is diverse, with no tolerance for discrimination and that the chant is in no way linked to the subjugation of the Zulus.

Although many could understand that this could be seen as offensive, KCLSU’s new Safe Space policy should deal with matters such as these, meaning there was not much need for the motion to be passed. As a result, the motion failed.

The second motion was quickly passed as the majority of the members saw the sale of NUS cards to KCL staff as being a positive act. Another key advantage to this motion is the fact that £4.70 of the £12 paid to buy a card would go back into KCLSU funds.

‘Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink, this is the situation in KCL’, sang Ben Judge (Student Council Chair), who wished for the purchase of more water dispensers around King’s College buildings, particularly the Maughan library.

Currently there is only one water dispenser available close to the library, creating countless and time wasting trips to find water. It was suggested that water points should be available on each level of King’s buildings. With a large majority, the motion was passed.

Another quick motion was passed later as it was the sensible idea of providing free condom provisions in spaces such as the Waterfront and Guy’s bar. Lydia Gray mentioned how only 54% of university students use condoms, perhaps due to the rising price of contraceptives. By giving students the choice to pick up free condoms in a private space, they are more likely to use them.

To close the meeting, the issue with Syrian students’ tuition fees was discussed as it has been found that many students from Syria, at other universities, had been expelled or threatened with expulsion due to the prevention of money coming out of Syria.

At this time, six hundred Syrian students study in Britain, with 14 currently studying at King’s. Members of the Council wanted to make sure that any financial sanctions would not happen at King’s. Although discussed thoroughly and with few amendments to the motion’s aims, the issue was passed with the Council voting in favour.

The Student Council is a fantastic way of getting your voice heard. The next meeting is at Guy’s Campus, New Hunts House lecture theatre 1 on Tuesday 29th January at 6pm.