UPDATE – (23rd March)
Please find below a statement from Sam Farrell.
I am deeply sorry for the hurt and pain caused by posts on my social media accounts. It was never my intention to deliberately offend or to make any student feel unsafe at Edge Hill campus, and it causes me great pain to think that I would make someone feel excluded from their university or Students’ Union.
Despite what my past posts may suggest, I do understand the severity of making light of events from history, especially when that history plays a fundamental role in reminding us of the needless persecution of others.
I only hope I can convey how genuine I am when I say that I now realise how naïve and ignorant my past behaviour was. It was wrong, it will not happen again, and it should not have happened in the first place.
I will not attempt to justify the behaviour by saying it occurred before I was nominated for SU President, but instead want to learn from past mistakes. I now understand that my actions affect far more than myself or even my immediate family and friends, and that, as a public figure within Edge Hill University, I am held to a standard that should set an example for other students and for the university as a whole.
I truly am sorry for any harm I have caused. As much as anything else, I want students to feel safe and comfortable to approach me with their issues, and in order to do that I need to educate myself further and take on board the concerns that have been raised. I will do everything I can, including any training required of me, to build that trust with the students I aim to represent, and I will commit myself to doing what is needed to rebuild any relationships that my past actions have fractured.
Edge Hill Students' Union has also responded to The Union of Jewish Students with the view of integrating Antisemitsm Training into all officers' summer inductions.
Statement from Edge Hill Students' Union
As a Students' Union, we take matters of this nature extremely seriously and when the individual’s actions were first brought to our attention in November 2019 we formally took disciplinary action to deal with his inappropriate behaviour. The student fully co-operated and apologised in writing for the upset his behaviour had caused and reiterated that it was not his intention to cause offence. He fully understood the severity of these accusations and was also given an appropriate disciplinary sanction following a thorough investigation.
Since then, the student has tried to make amends and has engaged in lots of proactive initiatives to support his fellow students.
Edge Hill Students’ Union made the decision that he should be able to run for any student officer position after carefully examining their Election Bye-Laws, which state that complaints can only be made against a candidate’s behaviour during the time that they are a candidate in the election.
Taking these factors into account and adhering to the National Union of Students official guidance, the student was allowed to continue to stand in the 2020 Students’ Union Elections. The NUS Returning Officer further confirmed that this incident occurred outside the election period and is therefore not in the jurisdiction of the Returning Officer to investigate, and that they are happy for the election to continue as planned.