Community Action Volunteers with Student Wardens at the Exeter Respect Festival.

To find out more about how universities play a crucial role at the heart of our society visit the Universities Week website

Students and staff pay their Respects

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Mark Overton and 30 student and staff volunteers represented the University at the 13th annual Exeter Respect Festival in Belmont Park.

Exeter Respect is the city's annual celebration of diversity using performance and creative arts to promote multi-cultural understanding and eliminate all kinds of prejudice.

The two day event drew over 12,000 people and the student volunteers from Community Action and Student Wardens raised nearly £500 for the Summer Adventures project through face painting, splat attack, raffles, Punch and Judy and a bouncy castle. Summer Adventures provides student led activity holidays on Dartmoor for a number of young carers in the area.

Rory Cunningham, the University of Exeter’s Community Liaison Officer said, ‘Being involved in the Respect Festival was a great opportunity for the University and Student's Guild to showcase student involvement in the City. We are proud to have such a diverse student population and we felt very welcome at this important event.’

The University is committed to providing an environment which promotes equality of opportunity and good relations between people of different racial groups.   As one of the proud sponsors of the Respect Festival, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Mark Overton is keen to stress the University of Exeter’s support for diversity and cultural understanding.  He said, ‘The University does much to bring diversity to Exeter. We now have nearly 4,000 international students from some 130 countries, and Exeter is becoming more and more popular as a destination for international students. And it’s not just our students: we have academic staff from over 50 nationalities.’

He added, ‘We have zero-tolerance of racism and strive to build a community where indeed we are all different but all equal.’

Student Wardens and Community Action volunteers were raising awareness of the University's and Student Guild’s partnership work in communities around Exeter throughout the Respect Festival. Fortunately, the weather remained glorious throughout and even though the queues were long, spirits were high at what has become an important date in the city’s cultural calendar.

Jasmina Mularska, a Student Community Warden said ‘Respect was great fun and we had a wonderful time chatting with local residents. We have some brilliant new ideas for new Community Projects and we look forward to being at the next festival.’

Date: 11 June 2010

Read more University News