'You are the epitome of stupid': Student rep sparks outrage after vowing to tear down a 'mural of white men' honouring those who left British universities to fight in WWI but never returned (11 Pics)

A Student Union president has sparked a furious backlash after she announced her plans to paint over a mural honouring men who were sent to fight in the First World War.
Emily Dawes of the University of Southampton took umbrage at the mural of all "white men" honouring students who were sent to war in the middle of their studies in the university's Senate room.
She said: "Mark my words - we're taking down the mural of white men... even if I have to paint it over myself."
The image depicts a row of academics from the time of the Great War, and was intended to honour unknown fallen heroes who did not get to finish their degrees because they were sent to fight in the trenches during the First World War.
The claims were made on the eve of the Royal British Legion launching its Poppy Appeal, and as the mural was unveiled by the University in its own commemorations of the war.
The University of Southampton Students' Union President Emily Dawes has provoked anger with this tweet threatening to paint over a First World War memorial
She also posted this tweet, suggesting she understood the significance of the mural

But it did not, as has been claimed, depict a row of students at the university who died in the war.
The SUSU President faced backlash on Twitter over the comments, saying she was a "disgrace",  and "insensitive"
One said: “Is this the mural to those heroic students from the university that had to forego their studies in order to fight for the freedom of Europe in WW1, and never got to graduate? I’m trying to think of a reason why anyone would actively want to deface a war memorial...”
Another said: “What’s she studying, clearly not history. Why can’t people accept you can’t change history. These young men went to far a war against tyranny. Her words are not far off that ! Do this or else.”
Responding to messages, Ms Dawes said: "As white people, we are so so ignorant and closed minded without even realising it. Listen to your black friends/colleagues/students and ask how you can be the ally they want!"
One poster said: “I really hope you won't allow that mural to be defaced and painted over?
Ms Dawes has yet to remove the post, despite the students' union issuing an apology


"Those young men were sent to war and unfortunately a lot didn't come back to be able to complete their studies! But they gave their lives which means students today can study freely.”
According to the University's website, the Rothenstein Mural was painted in 1916 by Sir William Rothenstein, former Principal of the Royal College of Art, as a memorial to members of the British universities serving in the Great War.
It depicts an academic procession and the conferring of a degree on an ‘unknown soldier' undergraduate by the then Chancellor of Cambridge University.
Her comments refer to this mural, which depicts an unknown soldier from the First World War being awarded a degree. Local history enthusiasts have asked that it be left alone





Her comments have provoked anger from many in the city, who pointed out the bravery of those who fought and died in the First World War
Some have supported her views, saying the mural 'reinforces white middle class stereotypes'


It includes key academics from the era of the Great War, including Vice-Chancellors and Chancellors, and the Poet Laureate Robert Bridges, the university said.
In his book "Men and Memories", the painter told how the idea for the mural came to him. He called it "The New Chivalry":
"I happened to be at Oxford where I witnessed the conferring of degrees... The sight of a number of youths, booted and spurred, with their gowns over their khaki, kneeling before the Chancellor to receive their degrees, put me in mind of the age of chivalry, so touching and beautiful were these young figures.
"I thought what a fine subject for a memorial painting this would make... I therefore painted a group of representative figures, Vice-Chancellors, scholars and men of science surrounding a Chancellor conferring a degree upon a young soldier."
Ms Dawes was contacted for comment but is yet to respond. She has not yet removed her Twitter remarks.
'You are the epitome of stupid': Student rep sparks outrage after vowing to tear down a 'mural of white men' honouring those who left British universities to fight in WWI but never returned (11 Pics) 'You are the epitome of stupid': Student rep sparks outrage after vowing to tear down a 'mural of white men' honouring those who left British universities to fight in WWI but never returned (11 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:44 Rating: 5

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