The National Union of Students is conducting an investigation after allegations of bullying and intimidation were made against the NUS president, Shakira Martin, by fellow officers reports The Guardian.
Martin has denied the allegations, accusing her critics of electioneering as campaigning begins in earnest ahead of NUS officer elections in March. She has also made counter allegations, claiming she is a victim of “racism and classism”.
It is understood there have been “a couple” of complaints about Martin’s conduct relating to a specific incident in NUS offices last December. In an interview with the Guardian, she admitted she had “lost it” on that occasion after being provoked.
Further allegations have been made against her on social media, which Martin herself has asked to be investigated. She has also called for the behaviour of a number of fellow officers to be investigated, in the context of potential breaches of the code of conduct that governs elected officers.
One of the complainants against Martin is the NUS women’s officer, Hareem Ghani, who claimed Martin had shouted and sworn at officers on a number of occasions. “Whilst I am sure Shakira Martin is under immense pressure, I do not think this behaviour is befitting or acceptable for a president,” she said.
Martin vehemently denied being a bully and said bullying should play no part in student politics. She said she felt traumatised by the attacks against her on social media, which had brought her close to quitting her role, and claimed they fed into a stereotype of an angry black woman.
“I believe the victimisation I’ve suffered is because I’m a black, working-class woman,” she said. “For the past few weeks I’ve been a victim of racism and classism.”
Read the full article NUS president Shakira Martin accused of bullying at union HQ
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