Canterbury Christ Church University Nightlife

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Canterbury Christ Church University Nightlife

 The racist reality of student night life in Britain

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A Yale University fraternity has been accused of racism for allegedly refusing non-white students entry to a party. But racial discrimination isn’t confined to America – clubs and bars in Britain are just as bad. Radhika Sanghani reports

Tamanna Miah has experienced racism on nights out

“We’re only looking for white girls.”

This is what a group of black and Hispanic girls were reportedly told when they tried to enter a Halloween party at Yale University. The party was organised by fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) and student Sofia Petrol-Gouin said she witnessed the exchange.

She told the Washington Post that a male member of SAE turned the group of girls away, before allowing a group of white girls in.

She claims he then said: “Yeah, that’s what we’re looking for.”

The story sparked a number of female students to speak out on social media, saying they’d experienced similar behaviour from the SAE fraternity. Neema Githere wrote a post where she claimed she’d been told last year “that admittance was on a ‘White Girls Only’ basis.”

These apparent examples of racism may be horrific – but they are not exclusive to this Yale fraternity. Here in the UK, black and minority ethnic (BME) people have complained about being turned away from a number of bars and clubs that seem to operate ‘white only’ policies.

Recently, four black women accused Soho nightclub DSTRKT of turning them away because of their skin colour and appearance. They said they were told they “weren’t good looking enough”, and that a promoter told them one of the girls was “too dark” and the other was “overweight.”

DSTRKT denied the incident and said the women were denied entry because they didn’t have a reservation. But it still sparked a protest, where a number of black and minority ethnic women who had experienced this kind of racism before came together.