We are all aware of the famous saying; small fish in a big pond. When you first go to university, it can absolutely feel that way too. For LGBTQ+ students, you may feel daunted by how much there is at university or have been starved of the community you have always dreamed of.
Well, look no further – your community has been right under your nose! Read this article for a handy guide about support for LGBTQ+ students here at the University of York.
As part of our Student’s Union, every year students elect part-time officers to represent the views and interests of LGBTQ+ students. These officers run campaigns, events and workshops that improve York’s inclusivity and diversity at the University. In addition, they raise awareness of the issues that LGBTQ+ students face.
They also run the LGBTQ Network; a student group you can be part of whilst at York. This network focuses on campaigning, leading discussions and spreading awareness. Plus they host social events and mixers so you can meet other like-minded individuals.
The YUSU LGBTQ+ part-time officers have recently developed LGBTQ+ club nights at the beloved Flares (the most fabulous nightclub in my opinion). After a huge success in the first term having just weeks 4 and 8 as club nights, they announced that moving forward, LGBTQ+ night at Flares would increase to weeks 3,5,7 and 9! Each week’s event will be themed and students even had the chance to suggest themes for these events too.
LGBTQ+ Social Society
The Student’s Union is very proud to support a wide variety of societies, one of these is the LGBTQ Social Society. They run events throughout term and signpost great support. The society is a wonderful place to meet other LGBTQ students, particularly if you’re new to York.
Many departments at the University will have their own LGBTQ+ representatives. These representatives meet with the staff to discuss how the department can improve its accessibility and inclusivity. Having department-specific reps allows students to feel supported throughout their time at York. Internally on their course as well as externally through societies and extra-curricular activities.
The University of York uses a collegiate system. This means that when you join the University, you will be assigned to a college. Your college will become a big part of your community whilst you study at York. For me, this helped support me, particularly whilst I was in first year. As part of the colleges, there is a student-based committee and this will include an LGBTQ+ officer. These students help support students within the college and develop inclusivity within the college.
There are many avenues for support at the University. A confidential organisation staffed by trained student volunteers, Nightline is open and available from 8pm to 8am every night. You can talk to the team in four ways:
- Dropping in to the flat
- Phoning Nightline
- Instant messaging
Nightline are there to help and signpost students to get the right support. As well as being able to give a range of sexual health and sanitary supplies free of charge.
LGBTQ+ SOCIAL SOCIETY