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Part-time LGBT+ Officer Update

Written by: Rob Nutkins, Part-time LGBT+ Officer

Introduction

The first term of an SU Officer’s time on council is often a quiet one, as most of it is spent making connections and on outreach, getting one’s name out to the relevant people, rather than any definite actions and campaigns. My first update, therefore, is quite short, but there are the foundations of several good campaigns coming up. Below is an account of my actions since being elected.

Meeting with Mitch, VP Activities

Mitch asked to meet me following an email that I sent to several Sabbatical Officers about LGBT+ Representation in the SU, and specifically for Mitch, for clubs and societies. Mitch was exceedingly helpful in explaining what is practicable in terms of events at the SU and so I hope to work with the Sabbatical Officers and Executives of the SU to organise events such as talks and networking on LGBT+ issues, including:

  • Sexual Health
  • Public and Private Safety
  • Representation in the Police, both in employment and as a civilian
  • Representation in Politics

Additionally, Mitch informed me about the Speak Up tool, which is a University portal to report incidents of abuse, hate and sexual violence both within and beyond University settings. The reporting feature and conditions can be found at

www.plymouth.ac.uk/speak-up

Meeting with LGBT+ Societies

Inclusivity is a necessity in running a club and society, but some go beyond this to be actively LGBT+ inclusive, and even make it part of their identity to speak about LGBT+ issues within their remit. These include the bespoke societies, LGBT+ and the Trans and Non Binary Support Group, but some others are the Musical Theatre Group, Creative Writing, Feminist and Debate. It’s very encouraging to see active inclusivity in so many societies, and the list extends well beyond those mentioned above.

I have met with the Feminist Society, Creative Writing and the LGBT+ Society committees who are coordinating an effort to reinstate inclusivity posters across campus, along with several others. This campaign is in particular regard to the Trans and Non Binary Inclusivity Posters that were previously on the toilets in the library, and some in Roland Levinsky.

Upcoming Meetings

I have a meeting with the SU’s Democracy and Representation Manager on the 2nd of December to discuss LGBT+ student engagement, and I am in ongoing conversation with the SU President about LGBT+ representation within a student democracy and the SU as an institution can advocate and support people in specific circumstances such as employment and personal life.