Student suing Britain's 'wokest' university for 'failing to protect' her from trans activists
Raquel Rosario Sánchez claims that she was bullied by activists at the university and says she was labelled a 'trans-exclusionary radical feminist'
A PhD student has expressed her sadness in court over allegedly facing “intimidation” from trans rights activists at her university.
Raquel Rosario Sanchez has claimed the University of Bristol, which has been called Britain's 'wokest university' by the group 'Fair Play For Women', failed to protect her from harassment and bullying by the activists, who targeted her over her involvement with campaign group Woman’s Place UK.
Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre heard the student notified the Russell Group university on February 1 2018 that she wanted to make a complaint about “malicious rumours” she said were being spread about her.
The court heard the activists had protested against a talk by Ms Rosario Sanchez ahead of her hosting it, labelling her a “terf” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) and claiming she was “spreading hate about trans people”.
Posting on her blog before the hearing, she said: "My name is Raquel Rosario Sánchez.
"I have been bullied and harassed by students at the University of Bristol for my feminist principles for over three years.
"The University has not only failed to protect me by upholding their own policies but instead, has decided to blame and gaslight me while enabling its overwhelmingly white, British and Russell-Group-educated bullies.
"My case is about how an elite university treats its students, particularly international students, when nobody is watching.
"My case seeks to ensure what is happening to me does not happen to other students."
Ms Rosario Sanchez spoke in court: “I just felt very sad because I just want to live my life, go to campus and go to my centre and not have to face intimidation.
“In March 2018, I thought I was going to get that, but now knowing how long this has taken is making me sad.”
Judge Ralton told the court that he would assess whether the University of Bristol handled the conflict between Ms Rosario Sanchez and the activists correctly, and would not be making a judgment about gender rights.
He said: “Some might regard proceedings as about trans rights and feminist rights, but the proceedings are not about that.
“This case is about Bristol University’s handling of conflict.
“I am sure counsel would say it’s a lot more complicated than that, and indeed it is, but this is the heart of the matter.”
Ms Rosario Sanchez began her PhD course at the University of Bristol in January 2018.
A Woman’s Place UK describes its aim as “to end to violence, harassment and abuse of women and girls”.
The trial is set to continue for five days.