Officer Report

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer+ officer

Over the past few weeks I have been working with the Student Communities Co-ordinator to prepare the new-look Networks for the upcoming term. This has involved a rebrand of the LGBT* Officer role (which has now become LGBQ+, following a poll a few weeks ago; this is to allow the brand-new Trans+ Officer role more autonomy) as well as a rewriting of SU byelaws so that the Trans+ Officer is at same level as all other Liberation Officers. Within the byelaws, a clause has been written specifically so that the two officers support and help each other in the inaugural year of the Tran+ Officer. The new-look networks also feature the two officers as co-chairs, with a deputy chair, events officer and communications officer. New positions will be opening in the new academic year so keep a look out if you’d like to be a part of the network executive.

Following on from a recent incident of homophobia on the Freshers’ Facebook Page I will also be undertaking a comprehensive review with the VP Education of the SU’s policy toward hate speech and homophobia at the university. This is a very important matter, as several incidents have happened over the course of the year. Some of this policy will be lapsing this year so it is especially important that it is maintained, and that SU staff are given the training and support to enact it.

I have also been working with the SU to start a ‘bathroom awareness’ campaign to aid trans+ students in feeling safer in campus bathrooms. This is due to the lack of gender neutral bathrooms around the university, which is another issue that I’ve been working on over the summer; however I’ve also spoken to many students over the course of the year and found that many trans+ students do not feel safe in single gender bathrooms; the campaign is designed to spread awareness in bathrooms and will coincide with the SU’s first Trans+ Awareness Week, which will be held in late November.

Following on from feedback from the last year, I’ve also been working with SU permanent staff to change the way that Freshers’ Week Mixers work; last year’s, although it had high attendance, was not particularly informative for LGBT+ students, which is something we wish to change and build upon in the coming weeks.

taran baragwanath

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