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Published on November 26th, 2015 | by Niall Norbury

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RUSU withdraws support for Agricultural Society

Reading University Students’ Union has disaffiliated the Agricultural Society following accusations of racism and cultural appropriation.

The Agricultural Society caused a huge amount of controversy last week after some of its members dressed in blackface and as other ethnic minorities on an ‘Agrics On Holiday’ social night out.

Students, members of the public, university staff and even local councillors criticised the society and accused its members of ‘cultural appropriation’.

Yesterday evening, RUSU announced that the Agricultural Society would be disaffiliated and would not be able to reform as an official RUSU society for three years.

Additionally, the student union will be holding a discussion on cultural appropriation called ‘I Am Not a Costume’ at 3sixty on Friday 27th November.

Oli Ratcliffe, RUSU President, said: “We have taken strong and decisive action against the society and we also support action taken against individuals involved by the University of Reading.

“But simply condemning this behaviour and disciplining those responsible for it is not enough. As a students’ union, we include and represent students from all backgrounds and strongly believe that we should celebrate diversity and multi-culturalism. This is why we must challenge prejudice and racism of this kind. If students anywhere in the UK think that blacking up is acceptable in 2015, then there is more to be done.”

This is not the first time the Agricultural Society has landed in hot water. The society has previously been banned by RUSU for behaviour of its members while out in town.

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About the Author

is the Editor and Creator of Alt Reading. He works in the voluntary sector supporting charities and community groups in Reading.



  • MisterPDW

    The Agrics were without doubt the biggest group of idiots when I was a student at RU in the late 2000’s. Red trousers, weak chins, braying voices and a complete sense of entitlement – sure you know the type.

    Well done on RUSU for coming down on them.

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