Foreward by Jay Cavanagh, Part-time LGBT+ Officer (2018-19)
Students at University expect a mature, comforting and embracing environment within which to study. This isn’t always the experience of students from one or more of the liberation groups, including LGBT+ people.
Research shows that the staff who work with young people in educational establishments have great influence over the personal development of students that they work with. Role models, liberation group visibility, and recognition of differences are all areas where our staff have a part to play.
However, my research over the past few months has revealed a missing link in the student-staff relationship across campus. Whilst staff do not lack the inclination, they seem to struggle to develop a solid plan of how to approach diversity and inclusion on campus.
It is my hope that this guide will give staff the answers they need, and will remain in constant use for years to come.
Creating an environment that embraces diversity with a culture of inclusion is no small feat. It is my belief that the first step towards tackling these issues is by admitting that fact: it isn’t easy. However, the small steps go a long way.
This guide will try to provide our staff with the information they need to do their roles to the best of their ability, and to reshape Leicester into a University that is nationally recognised as a leader in equality, diversity and inclusion.
Your students need you and LGBT+ progress is everybody’s business. This guide has been studentplanned, student-written, and will be student approved overall. If you’re somebody who feels as though this isn’t in your job description, please remember that the way you interact with a student can make such a difference. You can have a positive impact.
Mind UK has taught us that “LGBTQ+ individuals experience higher levels of mental health problems than the general population: 42 percent of gay men, 70 percent of lesbians and 90 percent of lesbians from BME communities experience mental health problems at some point in their lifetime, 60 percent of young trans individuals attempt suicide."
Thank you for taking the time to make our campus a better place.