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When will it stop? Another student details racist abuse

PICTURED: Madeline Charles

BLACK AND Asian students across the country are feeling the brunt of the "hostile environment" created by the Brexit referendum and the Conservative government's policies on immigration.

Madeline Charles, a student at Falmouth University in Cornwall, said she was targeted twice while on her way to college. "I was driving to uni when a man approached me.

He said, 'Your car could be blocking the road'. It wasn't but I moved my car forward anyway but he kept talking to me. Meanwhile another car with two white male students drove through but he didn't say a single word to them. I got out my car and started walking to campus but he kept talking to me. He said, 'I should say Yo to people like you.'"

"The second time he banged his fist on my car window. I got out and he said, 'All you black people have a chip on your shoulder' and then he said, 'Your car could get scratched' three times. He was really close to me. I went to walk away - I didn't know what kind of person he was. Then he called me a bitch and said some other things as I was walking away. I was really upset and I ended up crying."

Madeline reported the incident to the police but while she has received a call from victim support, she has yet to hear from the police about the case. Falmouth University has a student service called "Tell Me" which Madeline made use of and received support but as the incident happened off campus, she was told there was little that could be done.

Madeline graduates this year and plans to return to London, where she grew up. "It pissed me off but you get used to these microagressions," she says. "You would live in a perpetual state of rage if you didn't."

However, even black and Asian students in major cities have been subjected to abuse. Many were outraged by Nottingham Trent University student Rufaro Chisango's footage of people chanting "we hate blacks" and other racist abuse in her hall of residence. While another Nottingham Trent student Amrik Singh was forced to leave a bar just for wearing a turban.

After these incidents, National Union of Students president Shakira Martin and black Students Officer Ilyas Nagdee issued a joint statement saying: "Racism has no place at any university, nobody should have to experience this kind of harassment anywhere in society. It is important now that the students found to be engaged in this kind of behaviour are dealt with swiftly and appropriately by the institution, to send the message loud and clear that racism, in any of its forms, will not be tolerated."

"Sadly, these are not isolated incidents, institutions and those at the very top must recognise the challenges faced by their students and ensure procedures are robust enough to protect those students.”

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