Cambridge University’s minority ethnic students can now request to see a BME counsellor. This should happen elsewhere
Imagine you’re at university and are subject to a racist attack by white students. If you decided it would be useful to go to counselling to talk about it, how much would the therapist’s race matter?
For Cambridge students, it’s emerged that the answer is “a lot”. Last month, while on-campus racism continued to grab headlines, Cambridge University’s counselling service made a vital shift in response to student demand: for the first time, black and minority ethnic (BME) students can now specifically request to see BME counsellors. As the welfare and rights officer, I pushed for the change; but the process raised a host of questions and challenges about the nature of counselling, and the way institutionalised support caters to students’ social and political identities.
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