We as a union, a university and a city pride ourselves on being welcoming and inclusive to all. That means that we value the contributions of minority groups, we work hard to be allies and provide support if needed.
Solent is pretty great for its LGBT+ inclusivity, we have an incredibly active staff network that ensures any LGBT+ staff on campus feel valued and have access to help when necessary. They also organise events focused on the LGBT+ community, which you can find out more about on their twitter. Solent also sponsored the first Southampton Pride in August last year, which was amazing.
The Students’ Union has a brilliant LGBT+ Society that holds a variety of different events regularly to allow those in the LGBT+ community to meet each other and socialise, with a specific welfare position on their committee to provide peer to peer support for members, and an LGBT+ Student Officer who sits on student council and from academic year 2017/18 we will also have a Trans Student Officer. These positions are there to make sure student voice is represented across the campus. We also make sure that we host events that are designed to be inclusive and supportive of those within the LGBT+ community, such as our specific advice from the NHS this week.
But, there is always more we can do! Great examples of showing commitment to equality regardless of sexuality and gender are being shown at universities and unions up and down the country, and I feel Solent should follow the lead and continue proving what a diverse campus it is. If you have any ideas on how the university and the union could be more inclusive, I’d be happy to hear them and to help you work out how to make positive change on campus!
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or @SolentWelfare!
By Hanna Head