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Below is an email I sent out just now, full of stuff I think you guys should know before the next academic year begins.
With a new academic year beginning, we have a new committee. My name is Lux and I’m your new LGBT+ officer. You can find out more about myself and the other committee members here: https://uon-su-lgbt.com/committee/. (Hover over the “committee” link and select “contact” for all of our email addresses.)
This email will contain a brief outline of what the LGBT+ Network plans on doing this year – please do read on because we have a lot of exciting things in store!
I’ve put a lot of thought into the best way to organise the network – meeting the aims of the network effectively and sorting them into roles that can be on committee. I’ve had some questions as to why we no longer have reps on committee, so I thought this might be worth explaining:
A couple of years ago we had a lot of reps on committee (including BME, disabled, postgrad etc.). It was largely the case that the reps didn’t do as much as the committee members with specific roles, seeing as their role was simply to be representative of a certain group. Whilst inclusivity is important, we are making a massive effort this year to make the network as effective as possible, at the same time as keeping inclusivity in mind. I think it will be far more conducive to the network to focus on the roles that have an active part in meeting our aims, and therefore not having representative roles on committee.
The aims of the network are: (copied from the constitution)
- Aim and Objectives
- The aims of the Network shall be to create a safe and engaging space for LGBT+ students through:
- Supporting the network members through our welfare team as well as signposting the various welfare and outreach programs in Nottingham and at the University.
- Organising campaigns on issues affecting our members and to further the equality of LGBT+ students in the university environment.
- Organising various social events through which LGBT+ students can meet each other in a safe space.
- Provide all services in a way that is fair and accessible to everyone.
Our three Welfare Officers are involved with 1.1.1, we have two Campaigns Coordinators in charge of 1.1.2, and two Social Secretaries to cover 1.1.3. We also have a General Secretary and Treasurer who handles our admin, finances, and deputises in my absence.
Whilst I understand that there’s a difference between being represented and having a general committee, I feel that the welfare team can undertake any representation issues that surface. For example, the welfare team directed trans+ issues my way last year (when I was a social sec) because I identify as non-binary. Our committee this year is relatively diverse, so hopefully most representation/intersection issues can be pointed in the direction of a relevant committee member. If not, then the committee as a team will work together to tackle the member’s needs, and perhaps even using outside resources (such as other networks and welfare resources within the university).
In this way, I feel that it’s more effective to have a small, aims-based committee rather than a large one where some of the roles aren’t as active as others.
- Constitution: we’re re-writing our constitution. This is a document that outlines the aims of the Network, as well as how the committee should be run, how elections should take place, etc. Please keep an eye out on the website and Facebook pages as we’ll be polling to see what changes you’d like us to include.
- Supporting Trans+ Members (STM): this year I’ve started a project whereby we’ll be providing our trans+ members with free or discounted necessities. Being a student is financially challenging as it is, let alone being a trans+ student and having to purchase things to tackle dysphoria. Further, it’s often dangerous to your health to buy cheap and low-quality products (binders, for example, can cause a lot of damage to your ribs and lungs if they’re not good quality). If you identify as anything under the trans+ umbrella and are in need of some discounted or free products, please do respond to this email with a link to a product you’d like or a short description and we’ll place you on the waiting list. To fund STM, we’ll be running a number of FUNdraisers (haha), such as bar crawls, pub quizzes, etc.
- Awareness Week: the week beginning the 10th of October will be dedicated to raising awareness of the different intersections within the LGBT+ community. The aim of this is to help understanding of LGBT+ identities, especially with National Coming Out Day being the 11th. There’ll be talks and events as well as posters and flyers all around the university. Keep an eye out for ways to get involved!
- Zine: this will be a creative space for us to share stories, write articles, review LGBT+ media, poetry, art and more. Ellis Harris will be the Zine editor – please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can help with the next edition.
We have a lot of fun things planned including:
- Bar crawls
- Scene crawls in different cities
- Cafes (food and drink on UP campus) and Mooch socials
- Intersection cafes (events geared at specific LGBT+ intersections)
- Pride club night
Join the Facebook group to find out specifics closer to the time!
Thank you for reading this long and arduous email, I hope this is as lengthy as they’ll get in the coming year.
I hope you’re all having a fun and safe summer! Remember that our welfare team is always available if you’re having a tough time.
That’s all for now, but if you have any questions, please do email me!
Your LGBT+ Officer,