Last week, we were made aware of a research paper that was published on the University's website. The paper contained research and written guidance for journalist who were reporting trans* defendants in legal and court settings. We, like most of you who read it, were shocked at the content.
We've had different concerns and student feedback raised to us about transphobic language and references used throughout the research paper. The Students' Union does not agree with the research paper's recommendations, the language used throughout the paper and we believe the University should have never published or promoted it.
It’s important that every UCLan student feels safe and secure studying here and we believe the way the university staff use language has a significant impact on this. We are in conversations with members of the LGBTQ+ society and are keen to set up a meeting with ourselves, members of the society, and University leaders to talk about the impact of this article. We have approached the University’s Vice Chancellor’s Group to facilitate this and will provide an update when we can.
The Students’ Union is independent from the University and our number one role is to represent and support UCLan students. The Students’ Union building on Preston Campus and space in Sandygate Mill on Burnley Campus are safe spaces for all students to meet, speak to us about issues, or just be themselves.
Our re-elected VP Activities Officer, Katie has been working to support inclusive communities over the last twelve months and commented: “It's important we lobby the University to normalise the use of pronouns on students’ cards, emails and Microsoft Teams. It shouldn’t be a struggle for students to be called by their preferred name. We need additional support for the LGBTQ+ community, and training for all University staff around appropriate language."
It is really powerful to hear back from students who this has affected directly and we will be raising your concerns. If you need any support during this difficult time please get in touch, we are always happy to hear from students and provide support where we can.
The University also offers free wellbeing support 01772892030 firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to speak to someone. You can also receive support from mindout.org.uk if you would rather speak with someone outside of UCLan from the LGBTQ+ community.
Your Students' Union is always here to listen to your voice.