Rothenstein Mural, University of Southampton
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Student President Resigns After Call To Paint Over WWI Mural

Emily Dawes originally objected to the fact that the First World War mural only depicts white men.

Rothenstein Mural, University of Southampton

The Rothenstein Mural which Emily Dawes, who sparked outrage when she called to be painted over(Picture: University of Southampton).

The President of Southampton University’s Student Union has resigned a month after calling for a mural to soldiers of the First World War to be painted over.

Emily Dawes originally objected to the fact that the mural only depicts white men and tweeted:

"Mark my words - we're taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself."

Emily Dawes tweet

She later posted a photograph of the mural online in which she commented: "ONE OF THE WOMEN JUST SAID "it's nearly armistice day so we are we covering up this tapestry??"

The mural was painted in 1916 by Sir William Rothenstein and depicts students who went away to fight in the First World War and were unable to collect their degrees.

After an online backlash, Ms Dawes apologised "for the offense (sic) and upset I have caused", adding that her intention had been to "promote strong, female leadership and not the eradication and disrespect of history."

She took a leave of absence as SU President and has now announced her decision to stand down: "After careful consideration, I've decided that it's best if I step down from my role.

"I sincerely apologise for the offence and disrespect caused by my earlier comments, which were misinformed.

"I acted impulsively and as such fully accept how careless and hurtful my words were."

Southampton University tweeted:

"We respect Emily's decision and will continue to provide her with support.

"The University will continue to work closely with the Students' Union, the elected team and staff."