• Sweden edition
 

Lund responds to 'slave auction' with new course

Published: 07 May 2011 10:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 May 2011 10:10 GMT+02:00

“The incident at Halland nation shows that there is a great ignorance about the values that should prevail at Lund University,” Lund University President Per Eriksson told Lundagård, Sweden’s oldest student newspaper.

The president is referring to the April 16th “jungle party” party organised by the student organisation Halland Nation, where three people with blackened faces and lynching ropes around their necks were led into the hall by a white "slave trader."

The university administration has come under intense fire for being too passive, with critics demanding the university take action against those responsible.

“We can only act within the framework of the Disciplinary Board, and for us to do something, it must have taken place on the university premises or in connection with education. It happens that (student) nations escape that,” said Eriksson.

In an attempt to prevent the occurance of similar incidents, officials will launch a new educational course regarding the university's core values.

The programme, with content yet to be finalised, will include representatives from both student nations and organisations as well as leaders of the school.

“We have not made the details clear, but it will not be a legal education. Instead, we will discuss the cultures that can be formed at the university and what problems may exist with them,” said Eriksson, who sees the incident as “an opportunity to clarify issues.”

“I do not think that the students who dressed up were evil, and with racist intentions. But what happened shows that there is great ignorance about racism and what can be offensive. If students had dressed up as Jews in concentration camps, people would have certainly reacted immediately.”

The party was attended by about 90 people and included the selling of the "slaves" during the course of the evening.

The incident further escalated after Jallow Momodou, the member of the National Afro-Swedish Association (Afrosvenskarnas riksförbund) who reported the two affiliated student associations, became subjected to racial slurs and posters featuring his face superimposed on the image of a naked man in chains.

The Malmö University student street artist and provocateur Dan Park, responsible for creating and posting the images of Momodou, has since been expelled from the school and is not permitted to live on campus property.

Park maintains his art was “great humor” meant to poke fun at people who were outraged by the event.

The school’s decision is temporary, pending the review by the University Disciplinary Committee.

The ‘tasteless joke,’ as it has been referred to, has gripped the attention of civil rights heavy weights around the globe.

The European Network Against Racism (ENAR), based in Brussels, wrote an open letter to Sweden's Minister for Democracy and European Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson expressing its utter disgust and condemnation ‘without reservation’ to the actions, urging the Swedish government to take swift, disciplinary action.

Prominent American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson also recently wrote a letter to the Swedish Minister for Education Jan Björklund urging Sweden to question the perpetrators and take measures to ensure that Swedes are made aware of the brutal reality of the transatlantic slave trade and the part Sweden played in it.

Karen Holst (kholstmedia@gmail.com)

Your comments about this article

11:01 May 7, 2011 by RobinHood
Will they offer a course to cover every dumbass thing their drunken, idiotic students get up to, or settle for just this one?
11:59 May 7, 2011 by otwa
What decision has Disciplinary Committee made about this ignorant people?

If I had an African root, I would those people.
12:37 May 7, 2011 by TheOriginalBlackMan
It's a start.
13:20 May 7, 2011 by swedejane
"I do not think that the students who dressed up were evil, and with racist intentions."

Perhaps not evil, but most certainly racist. Anyway, it's a start but it would be more impressive to see them take the logical step of changing the rules so they do have some disciplinary authority over these so-called "student nations"...whatever that is.
13:31 May 7, 2011 by Scorch
Seriously? If it were white slaves with black slavetraders, no one would care.
14:53 May 7, 2011 by Antonito
Racism in Swedish Universities?,...yes....I know an Indian guy who openly refuses to sit beside Indians from lower casts...he is a student of a masters programme. We all know that things like that are happening everyday in many places in the world. Do we need educational programmes/courses? Of course...certainly not in Sweden for Swedish at least. I have seen less acts of racism here in Sweden than in my original country (I am a "black head" not Swedish guy) . I would rather start in Africa where black people with lighter skin discriminate others with a darker one. Slavery? Thousands of children in tha continent are kidnapped - raped - forced to work like animals. What about the African women traded (mainly by connationals) and forced to prostitution. ..those are just few examples of modern slavery...as real as the ones we had in the past. Does it hurt?.......Of course it hurts.....because it is true !.
22:55 May 7, 2011 by Flavius Belisarios
As a Swedish tax payer, am I contributing to the "new educational course regarding the university's core values"? I probably do, and I resent it. Why not just send the extortionist Jesse Jackson a big fat bribe instead? Through long experience, he and his organization surely have all the routines in place for a quick and discreet settlement?
00:17 May 8, 2011 by RitaPita
Doesn't seem a bit pointless to have a swedish person teaching this course?..

I'm just saying, they are not the most open people to publically talk about such issues, not to mention the level of denial when being questionned about it.
08:41 May 8, 2011 by Nemesis
From the 1930's to mid 70's, Sweden sterilised 63,000 people. Most of whom were minority Sami women. Having a Swede lecture on racism is like getting Adolf Hitler to lecture on anti-semitism, not a good idea.

As for the students themselves. Minority on minority racism is definately ignored and indirectly encouraged in Sweden. That applies in general soceity as well in Sweden.

Regarding the event that has caused the uproar. In a normal society, the students involved would be in serious trouble and possibly even expelled from the university. In Sweden it was ignored which does show that the authorities involved are so racist they can not even grasp the true extent of there own racism.
10:46 May 8, 2011 by Scorch
@Nemesis. They did nothing illegal. What would they be expelled for? Making Lund U look bad?
23:24 May 8, 2011 by LeoKinmann
@Scorch

Universities can expel students for cheating on exams or bad demeanor such as repeatedly interrupting classes, etc. Not all of the things you do in uni are supported by the constitution. If students get enrolled at an university, it counts as they agree to follow the school's code of conduct. And by breaking it, they sign their own death warrant to an academic life. So yes, Lund U has the right of expelling the students, or, perhaps as a softer punishment, ban them from classes for a few months like they to do the cheaters.
02:24 May 9, 2011 by wenddiver
@LeoKinman-- That's rediculous, to throw somebody out of a University for behaving ignorantly. It is all one way to, enforcing leftist twadle, tommorow the same University that throws out somebody for making fun of an ethnic group, will give out an Award for humiliating the King or President.

I see no point in throwing kids out of school for some silly leftist agenda like stopping excess drinking or not calling a minority group a minority group. When I was at LSU (Louisiana State University) they used to give out hundreds of hours of Brassoing the two brass Civil War cannons that General Sherman gave the School. Many a high spirited, young, Southern Gentleman learned not to be such a barbarian on those large Brass Tubes. I can't help but think that the firm, but fair policy helped many of the young Men.

Hold them Tigers, hold them Tigers!
15:19 May 9, 2011 by Grindsprint
@Nemesis LOL what an extraordinary display of intellectual meltdown!! You think there is any validity to citing some abscure statistics on sterilization and making up your own reasons why they were done, and then assert that it is sufficient for accusing the whole population of being racist?? You are beyond pathetic! :) All you do is complain about Sweden In EVERY way you can on here! You are not debating or commenting, you´re moping! Why all the bitterness? What is it that has gone so terribly wrong for you? I couldn´t imagine moving to another country just to sit and complain all day, but that´s what you do here. GET A LIFE!
Today's headlines
National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Politics
Israel's ambassador recalled from Sweden
Israeli ambassador Isaac Bachman. Photo: TT

Israel's ambassador recalled from Sweden

Israel called home its ambassador from Stockholm "in irritation" on the same day that Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

Politics
Palestine recognized as state by Sweden
Sweden's Foreign Minister is Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Palestine recognized as state by Sweden

The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

970
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN