New Students' Union president dressed as Holocaust victim and joked about being 'gassed'

Edge Hill Students' Union president-elect posted a photo of him dressed as a concentration camp inmate


A newly-elected Students' Union (SU) president wrote a string of social media posts joking about the Holocaust along with pictures of himself dressed as a concentration camp victim, it has been revealed.

Sam Farrell, who was elected Student Union President of the SU at Edge Hill University in Lancashire on March 18, is seen joking on social about a post in which he is seen dressed as a Holocaust victim.

He is seen sprawled on a table, dressed in striped pyjamas with a number added and a cap designed to give him a shaven head look. He was dressed for a "movie and TV show" themed social event.

He posted the photos with the comment: “In dire need of a shower after last night’s social #gassed”.  

In a February 2019, he said that he was “pretty sure the Holocaust had better headliners” than the Reading Festival.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said it was “extremely concerned” and was “getting in touch with Edge Hill Students’ Union to ensure that the SU receives antisemitism awareness training.”

UJS said it was also “aware of other Holocaust posts.”  

Mr Farrell was one of two candidates running for the SU presidency.

On Thursday, the Campaign Against Antisemitism said that Mr Farrell had been advised to remove the images from social media by the university but that no further action had been taken.

In a statement posted on the Edge Hill SU website on March 23, Mr Farrell said: “I am deeply sorry for the hurt and pain caused by posts on my social media accounts. It was never my intention to deliberately offend or to make any student feel unsafe at Edge Hill.

“Despite what my past posts may suggest, I do understand the severity of making light of events from history, especially when that history plays a fundamental role in reminding us of the needless persecution of others."

A statement from the Students' Union said: “We take matters of this nature extremely seriously and when the individual’s actions were first brought to our attention in November 2019, we formally took disciplinary action to deal with his inappropriate behaviour.”

It said that it allowed Mr Farrell to run for president as “complaints can only be made against a candidate’s behaviour during the time that they are a candidate in that election”.

On Monday, the SU said it would respond to UJS’s concern “with the view of integrating Antisemitism Training into all officers’ summer induction.”

An Edge Hill University spokesperson said: “Views that appear to have been expressed by the President-elect of the Students’ Union have been brought to the attention of University leaders.  These views are deeply abhorrent and, as we understand, are subject to a further disciplinary inquiry by the Students’ Union.  

“While the Students’ Union is a wholly independent organisation, responsible for the election and appointment of its officers, the University will not tolerate behaviour of this kind and will not hesitate to use its own procedures if necessary.”     

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive