Hello all, my name is Gemma but do call me Gem (she/her), I’m currently the LGBTQ+ officer for
Halifax College, I’m a first-year music student and I have brought a fresh and vibrant cooperation to
LGBTQ+ events within the HCSA. I’ve worked closely with our VP for well-being and liberation to
bring inclusivity and a healthy atmosphere to the college. I have already made myself known not just
through events but by being a reliable point of contact for LGBTQ+ members of the college as
communication is incredibly important to me within the LGBTQ+ community. As a new student with
new ideas, I can promise to deliver a fresh energy to the LGBTQ+ network. Regarding this, I want to
remove the stigma around the LGBTQ+ network as some deem it too political. Keeping in mind that
campaigning and work to be done in the university is the main priority, I do wish to give a light-
hearted and comfortable atmosphere to the network. For example, more equal focus across the
spectrum of the community ensuring every member feels valued and that their voice is being heard.
We are our own community and to leave anyone in the dark would be a double standard to what we
all believe in – equality. Within the university, especially colleges we need more inclusivity for all
gender identities. While in the HCSA, James Mortimer (VP for well-being) achieved an increase in
inclusivity for the college by getting sanitary bins in male cubicles, this needs to be pushed further
and made a uni-wide policy. Together we can abandon gender boundaries and make The University
of York a more accepting and diverse place.
The LGBTQ+ Social group do a fantastic job of bringing our community together, and personally I
believe this is something we need to get strongly on board with in the network. We are all here and
in these groups for the same reasons and I wish to close the gap between the two and strengthen
the bond of the LGBTQ+ community in the university. There needs to be a level of communication
with us and I feel this is something we may be lacking. Not just communication with Social, but with
college reps and college well-being committees. In addition to this, we need better interaction with
college reps to ensure that sexual health information and items can be accessible to students of the
colleges wherever possible. Sexual health is very important at university and is often closely related
with LGBTQ+ and is something that I feel we can improve upon.
Finally, we need more support for students who identify as LGBTQ+ who maybe don’t feel as
comfortable attending events and coming out of their shell. I have met many students who are not
‘out’ at home and this has a serious impact on their lives here at university, it can be an uphill
struggle. We’ve all been through it at some point in our lives. I wish to introduce designated points
of contact for people who need that little bit encouragement to explore the LGBTQ+ world we all
know and love. I hope you will all agree with my beliefs and choose me to carry you through to
desirably, the most inclusive and comfortable LGBTQ+ community the university has seen.