The ongoing conflict in Gaza & Israel - Support for students and statement from the Union

We understand the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Israel, and the broader region is having a profound impact on many individuals within our student community.

  • Posted Tue, Jul 2, 2024 9:00 AM

We understand the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Israel, and the broader region is having a profound impact on many individuals within our student community.

If you’ve been on Campus recently, you might have noticed that some University of Portsmouth students set up camp in Ravelin and formed an encampment. The encampment has currently made the decision to decamp due to ongoing conversations with University senior leaders and as a Union we will continue to support students to make sure their voices are being heard at the highest level within the University. UPSU respects our students' legal right to engage in peaceful demonstrations and exercise their freedom of speech and assembly. We recognise that this may present difficulties or discomfort for individuals with differing perspectives.

The safety and welfare of our students is our top priority during this time. We want to ensure the wellbeing of all students, including those utilising campus facilities, including the Ravelin Sports Centre, Library and Student Union Building, as well as those participating in the encampment. 

A statement from your Elected Officer team on behalf of the Union: 

“As we near the end of the academic year, we are mindful of the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. It has been heartbreaking to witness the pain, destruction, and loss of life in both regions and the subsequent military actions which we strongly condemn.
It is deeply troubling to hear about the experiences of some of our Palestinian and Israeli students who have faced racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian prejudice. It is important that all students feel safe and supported in our community. The University of Portsmouth community, including students, staff, and alumni, has faced unimaginable pain in recent months, and we are here to support those who have been personally affected by the conflict.
We are incredibly grateful for the dedication and hard work of our student groups, clubs, and societies in providing support and solidarity to their peers during this challenging time. They have shown exceptional leadership and we commend their efforts.
As trustees of the students’ union, we understand that the union must focus on its charitable purposes and cannot take a corporate stance on the conflict. However, we are committed to supporting our student community in coming together, grieving, and sharing their perspectives.
As Elected Officers and Officer Elect team, we join voices with world leaders, faith leaders, humanitarian organisations, and the UK government in calling for an urgent ceasefire to end civilian suffering. We believe that a lasting peace is the only way to ensure safety and security in the region in the long term. 
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss any of the topics mentioned in this communication or if you have any other concerns. Thank you.”
- The Elected Officer 23/24 and Officer Elect 24/25

The University’s statement on the conflict can be found here

As part of their EDI Policy, the University has a No Tolerance approach, which means that all individuals should expect to be treated with respect, empathy and compassion. As part of this, the University does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, bullying, sexual misconduct, hate crimes or other anti-social behaviour, including discrimination based on religion or belief and racism, colourism or xenophobia. The full EDI Policy can be found here

For members of our groups, societies and sports teams, the Union’s Code of Conduct is also abided by.

Support available to all students:

The Student Union Advice Service offers confidential, impartial and non-judgemental support on a range of academic and university issues that may affect your experience. So if you need any advice on how to complete an extenuating circumstances form, the team of trained staff and peer advisors can help you. More information here.

The campus security team is available 24 hours a day, throughout the year, for both emergencies and non-emergency queries and can be accessed by calling: +44 (0)23 9284 3418

Should you need support for your mental health and overall wellbeing, the wellbeing service is accessible via phone at +44 (0)23 9284 3466 or through email at Additionally, other support services, such as quiet spaces for prayer and counsel over a cup of tea, are provided by the chaplaincy team, reachable by phone at +44 (0)23 9284 3030 or via email at

Instances of hate crimes are treated with utmost seriousness. If you become aware of any such incidents on campus, please use the Report + Support tool page to report them. You have the option to report anonymously.

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