Raquel Rosario-Sanchez: Student says Bristol University staff plotted ‘to get rid of me’ over accusations
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A PhD student who is suing ‘Britain’s wokest university’ told a court today (Weds) it tried to trick her into missing a visa deadline so she gets kicked out of the country - which could happen as soon as next week.
Raquel Rosario-Sanchez, 32, has launched a civil action against Bristol University saying bosses didn’t tackle transgender activists who subjected her to a two-year ‘’hate campaign’’.
Ms Rosario-Sanchez said her torment began when she was targeted for attending feminist meetings that opposed allowing men who identify as women into female-only spaces such as toilets and domestic violence refuges.
And she said she felt officials at the university later ‘colluded’ to trick her into suspending her studies so she would be forced to leave when her study visa expired.
She said this was done in a bid to ‘make her accusations go away’.
Ms Rosario-Sanchez alleged university staff colluded and ‘plotted’ to encourage her to take what she felt was her ‘only option’.
Her representatives allege: “The claimant was encouraged to suspend her studies without the implications explained to her in an a attempt to procure the end to her right to remain in the UK - and therefore cause her complaint to be discontinued without the need for a conclusion.”
Speaking today on the second day of her hearing, Ms Rosario-Sanchez told Bristol Civil Court that individuals ‘higher up’ above her PhD support tutor Dr Emma Williamson attempted to trick her into missing her study visa deadline and leave the UK.
She added: “This is not an allegation, this is a fact. The matter of fact is that my right to remain in the UK will in effect end next week.
“My visa ends on the 16th February, and I will have to leave the country on the 15th”.
When asked who specifically was participating in this attempted trick, she claimed that “the whole university” was in on the plot “to get rid of me”.
As part of her sex discrimination and negligence case against Bristol University, Ms Rosario-Sanchez also says she was also harassed over her involvement with the campaigning group Woman’s Place UK.
She also said she was told by diversity chiefs that the term ‘maternity’ was now ‘problematic’ and ‘exclusionary’.
She said when pointed out that only a biological woman can give birth, she was reported to human resources bosses for being ‘transphobic’, investigated by the university and ordered to apologise.
She also claims Bristol University dismissed her complaint about men being allowed in the female changing rooms at the pool.
Continuing evidence on day two of the hearing, she spoke of the failure of the university to investigate her complaint against alleged intimidation tactics by students of its transgender rights advocacy organisation.
She also alleged the university failed to support her in her studies as she struggled with her mental health over the abuse.
She has previously claimed that because of attempts to cancel her via a motion to the Student Union, she had not felt comfortable on the University campus.
But solicitors representing the university today (Wed) highlighted that prior to summer 2019 Ms Rosario-Sanchez had repeatedly accessed campus.
Ms Rosario-Sanchez agreed that she had been on campus in her PhD office ‘every day’ between midday and 10pm at night prior to summer 2019.
She claims though that this was because the university investigation was deterring threats against her.
She said: “The reason why I was able to continue to go, was because until that point, the university kept reassuring me they were taking this issue very seriously”.
A statement by Ms Rosario-Sanchez was then read out by university lawyers where she claimed that after the summer of 2019 she was no longer able to attend campus.
She said at the time: “After the summer of 2019 I felt I couldn’t go to campus anymore”.
Ms Rosario-Sanchez, had previously received a four-month extension to her PhD, claiming that her studies at university had been inhibited by her online abuse.
But as the deadline to complete her studies was approaching, staff then recommended that she suspend her studies for two months or leave.
Alternative options pitched to her included later re-applying, or withdrawing her studies permanently.
She claims that a fourth option, of extending the deadline on her PhD, was never presented to her in an attempt to obtain her consent to suspension of her studies and thus missing her visa deadline.
She described this suspension as a punitive action, a claim opposed by the university who claim that a two-month suspension was not a punishment but an extension of time for her studies.
Ms Rosario-Sanchez later agreed that she should suspend her studies based on options presented to her.
She claims that she did so against her will, and that it was presented as her only option other than leaving entirely.
Despite this, by agreeing to an academic suspension she claims she was put into ‘academic support measures’ which gave her ‘strict deadlines’ that she could not meet.
She claims she was unable to meet these deadlines due to the university having failed to resolve her complaint against intimidation tactics by other students.
Representatives claimed that the university was following normal processes put in place to support students not meeting deadlines by setting targets.
The case continues.