Welcome to all LGBT+ students!
I hope you’re having an amazing Freshers’ Week. You’ve made a great decision coming to study at the University of Edinburgh, and hopefully your next four (or more) years here will be fantastic.
This post is for LGBT+ students, a banner that traditionally covers lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people but also encompasses transvestite, queer, intersex, asexual and other gender and sexual diversities. It is also open to those questioning their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression.
Unfortunately, just as LGBT+ people have been persecuted and under-represented throughout history, you are likely to face extra challenges while you’re here because of who you are. These challenges may include bullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime and being at a higher risk of mental ill-health or substance abuse.
As your students association and representative body, EUSA takes this very seriously and goes to great lengths not just to improve the lives and university experiences of LGBT+ students but to ensure you’re represented within it as well. The focal point of this is the LGBT+ Liberation Group, which has its own budget to run campaigns, can pass its own policy, can propose policy for EUSA to adopt and elects a rep to each of EUSA’s standing committees (welfare, academic, external). In recent years it has been heavily involved in national campaigns, and in 2012 it won Campaign of the Year for its work on Equal Marriage at the NUS Scotland LGBT Awards. What it does next, though, is completely up to you!
The group is run by the LGBT+ Convenor, but it is open to all LGBT+ students and the more you get involved the better! Like all EUSA’s meetings and buildings, the liberation group is a completely safe space – you cannot be harassed, silenced or discriminated against for any reason. Furthermore, although there are many LGBT+ allies at the university, only LGBT+ students are allowed to attend the group, meaning your liberation is yours to lead. There are three other liberation groups which are run the same way, and which you may wish to attend as well: the Women’s Group; the Black Minority Ethnic Group; and the Disability and Mental Wellbeing Group.
The LGBT+ Convener is usually elected in EUSA’s March election, but sadly no one stood this year. Instead the position will be elected in the October election, along with first year reps for the welfare, academic and external committees, delegates to the National Union of Students and a number of other positions. You should definitely consider standing, and if you’re unsure or would like some advice then please feel free to get in touch with me! It’s really important that we have a wide range of voices partaking in our democracy and campaigns. If you don’t feel like partaking in a university-wide election then you might want to consider being one of the three LGBT+ reps. These will be elected at the first LGBT+ meeting of the semester. The dates, times and locations of all this semester’s meetings are listed at the bottom of the page. You can also keep up to date with the liberation’s group’s activity on the Facebook group.
If you have any questions or issues, please feel free to get in touch with me at any time. I hope to see you at a EUSA or LGBT+ event soon!
Equal Opportunities Officer
LGBT+ Liberation Group Meetings 2013:
Friday 13th September – Teviot Balcony Room – 14:00-15:00
Date and Location TBC (Extraordinary meeting to elect LGBT+ reps to EUSA committees)
Monday 14th October – Teviot Dining Room – 18:30-20:30
Monday 11th November – Teviot Dining Room – 18:30-20:30
Meetings are subject to change and additional meetings may be added. As much notice of this as possible will be given.