As LGBTQ+ Officer, I will work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans students and students who define other than straight and cisgender to make Sunderland a better place for everybody. I will act as the main support for student led activity and the main link to the city's LGBTQ+ community.
Throughout the year I will contribute to local Pride events, LGBTQ+ History Month and will also lead our work in submitting Sunderland-led policy to NUS LGBTQ+ Conference. As LGBTQ+ Officer, I would like to lobby the university to create safe spaces for students, increase LGBTQ+ visibility through curriculum design and empower LGBTQ+ students to make their voices heard.
In my role, this year I will...
Display clear messages that demonstrate a zero-tolerance approach to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying;
Ensure all policies and documentation use inclusive language and work closely with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team within the university;
Create signs to show that rooms/offices are safe spaces for discussion;
Create an LGBTQ+ zone within the library.
Research shows that students are more likely to remain enrolled if they feel represented in the curriculum. There are opportunities in almost all courses for discussions about LGBTQ+ equality but unfortunately these are often overlooked. It’s crucial that student’s voices are heard and that’s why I want students to be actively involved in shaping curriculums.
More than anything, I want LGBTQ+ students to know that they have the power to influence change. Across our university, students are using their research skills to advance equality, but the opportunity to share their work is limited. I would like to implement an annual multi-disciplinary LGBTQ+ research conference. To quote Glazzard and Stones (2019), “If students are passionate about recognising and challenging discrimination and prejudice, there is hope for a more socially inclusive society”.
Attending regular meetings with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager Justine Gillespie;
Planning and coordinating plans for LGBTQ+ History Month;
Delivering safe spaces training for university staff and LGBTQ+ allies;
Planning for a multi-disciplinary research conference for Summer 2021.