As the society enters its second year, Maggie and I are working hard to think of new ways to improve the society and events to plan so that we can all have a bit of fun.
Keeping with tradition, one of the first events in the coming year with be an outing to the local gay bar, The Boston Clipper! Details are yet to be decided but there'll be plenty of advertisement in advance.
We're also planning on keeping up with the drop-in-sessions. These are designed to be a nice opportunity for LGBTQ students to gather and chat about/discuss LGBTQ topics with some tea and biscuits (tea and biscuits both optional) or as a safe place for troubled voices to be heard in confidence.
There'll definitely be a place for film nights next year, too, and we have a good amount of queer theatre (thanks to our drama majoring President) and film, or anything you guys want to watch.
We all know that being under the LGBTQ umbrella doesn't necessarily set us up for easy lives, and while we pride ourselves in creating a safe and friendly atmosphere for students in this position, we'd also like to try and organise other types of events.
If anyone has any queries, ideas or comments, do feel free to contact us.
I have some exciting news for any students who identify as trans*. I am currently trying to create a link between the LGBT society and a free mentoring service that is available to all trans* students thanks to the charity 'Gendered Intelligence'.
The idea is to provide one-on-one mentoring sessions with a Gendered Intelligence trans* mentor, to help trans* students who may be struggling with managing gender issues, experiencing some of the challenges of living as a trans person in education or may have existing mental health issues which are exacerbated by being trans.
The service is paid for by funding available to help students with particular needs in Higher Education, so its free for both you and the university. In order to qualify for funding, you need a letter from a doctor confirming a mental health diagnosis as evidence of your need for mentoring (This includes ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ as well as diagnoses such as depression or anxiety), however a letter from your GP saying how your identity as trans effects your grades etc will also suffice if you are yet to get a diagnosis.
They can provide practical support with social and medical transition (such as assistance with information, name changes, referrals, etc). They can also advise on organisation and study skills, careers, housing and financial information. They provide advocacy support - to ensure your needs are met within the university by talking to academic staff or unviersity administration about any issues, either with you, with another member of the LGBT society (probably me as I'm the Trans* officer) or on your behalf.
Normally this has to be arranged on a one-to-one basis with GI but I am hoping to make it so that it can be done though the LGBT society if you are worried about contacting them.
I am really excited about this and hope you are too. Anyone who thinks they might benefit from this please get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by emailing Gendered Intelligence directly at email@example.com .
Welcome to another year or your first at the University of Northampton. I'm Juanita Tsikata, your LGBTQ Officer and President of the LGBTQ Society.
I just finished my first year doing Creative Writing and Journalism, Joint Honours. (Not so fancy as it sounds, honestly)
So you've finally made it into university amidst the stress. Well done. We're so proud of you. The LGBTQ society is a safe medium through which issues of equality, representation and discrimination are put forward to the union. But don't forget, aside from the boring old politics, we're also strongly for socialization and entertainment. This year we aim to get lots of members to keep the society up and running (and maybe be the best there is. But hush tell no one.) From Coffee socials, film nights, and even nights out in town..or lunch maybe? The choice is up to you. Just remember we're here for you, to listen to you confidentially and offer welfare support if necessary.
University is difficult and like Kay said, being under the LGBTQ umbrella isn't easy either. But trust me, if I made it through my first year. So can each and every one of you.
I look forward to meeting you this year.