Following the successful campaign and the decision of the university to remove gender restrictions to sub fusc, this blog will no longer be updated with new information.
These are the minutes of the LGBTQ Campaign meeting on 17/02/2012, which the Gender Equality Campaign is a campaign of. Thus, some of the issues raised here are not specific to the Gender Equality Campaign.
LGBTQ Campaign meeting minutes 17/02/2012
Present: Jess P., Frances. W, Owen J., Lyman G., Gail. B
Oxford Radical Forum requests funding
Subfusc and Gender Markers update
Christian Concern conference at Exeter College
The Oxford Radical forums are asking for money to host Ghassan Makarem. They have £100 from LGBTQSoc and were advised to ask OUSU as well for funding. They had already asked LGBTQSoc and through that meeting it had been revealed that the amount of money required is £400, minus £100 that LGBTQSoc has pledged.
The campaign found that though this was a very engaging speaker and the work done is very good, the amount desired may be too much for a single speaker.
F suggested that a smaller amount of money should be pledged, on the condition that it will be paid if the remainder of the money is raised elsewhere.
Knowing that LGBTQSoc has more healthy finances than the campaign, but knowing that this falls well within the remit of the campaign as the political arm of LGBTQ at Oxford, the campaign decided to pledge £100 to fund this speaker.
Subfusc and gender markers update:
OUSU meeting with proctors, J spoke about sub fusc and gender markers. J explained that people had had many different experiences, but was rebuffed by proctors and asked to get testamonials to prove that people had had many different experiences. J has resolved to seek out testamonials to return to the proctors with.
Proctors claimed that any person can write a letter and have special dispensation to wear items not on the sub fusc list. Proctors believed that the situation was analogous to wearing religious items. J not happy with situation, explained situation was akin to ‘gender police’, and that this makes individual clothing at the discretion of individual proctors.
Exec and J found that removing gender-specific sub fusc is going to be a long process with the final authority lying with the VC. J will continue to make motions with the OUSU exec.
Gail explained that no response was given to enquires she made to University Offices with regard to gender markers and changing statistics. J will attempt to send the same email, hoping their status will assist with getting a response.
Owen became aware over Christmas of the Christian Concern/Exeter situation. All details are in the public domain and the OxStu article of the previous week. Conference is happening in “11th” week, and several people will be in Oxford during this time.
Rector took concerns to governing body when approached by Owen. Governing Body contacted CC and got assurances from CC that they would abide by the colleges equality laws while at Exeter.
Owen got into contact with OUSU and the Exeter LGBT rep. OxStu article followed. Response was Exeter JCR has been “disappointing”, stating that Exeter JCR has been “angry” at the OxStu article, but no organisation and no motion proposed. No response to Owen was made to the LGBTQ rep. Owen stated that attacked have been made to the article itself rather than to criticise their college. Belief is that the MCR may be more forthcoming.
General agreement is that a picket can take place, and that the non-university LGBTQ people should be invited to join us on a picket so that numbers can be high.
Owen expressed scepticism that Exeter is tied monetarily. Gail suggested that it is possibly inevitable that the conference will go ahead, and that protests should aim to make it clear that bigots are not welcome at Exeter. Owen believes that action taken prior to the end of term may still lead to Exeter cancelling the conference’s booking.
Discussion of a picket was held. J suggested that this presents an image of Oxford being a-ok with this: This is an oxford-wide issue, not an Exeter-only issue. L stated this is a major step back for the image of Oxford as LGBTQ-friendly. G suggested that Exeter should be made well aware that there will be a sizable protest throughout the dates of the conference taking place.
J stated that they have been contacted by alumni who want to know what they can do to help prevention of this conference. Physical letter writing campaign.
O stated that he did not believe that the conference taking place was a foregone conclusion, and that we could stop it happening, as the damage to Exeter’s reputation will be considerably more than monetary loss from the conference not taking place.
J suggested that something should be got out of OUSU council, at least a message of condemnation.
G suggested that an extraordinary meeting of the campaign should take place, entirely concerning the Exeter situation. L gave option of Brasenose. Brasenose was accepted, and room will be booked for next week by Lyman. The MCR and JCR presidents of Exeter should be contacted to speak at said meeting –Gail send this email to these people.
As far as motion to OUSU Council goes, there will be another exec meeting before council, so J will talk to exec about this. J will bring along examples of minutes from OUSU council.
Frances is no longer the chair. Lyman is now the chair of the campaign.
The campaign chair has allowed me to give a brief plug before the Gender Inclusion Campaign starts again in earnest for Hilary Term. As part of my role as one of the Transgender and Transsexual reps at the OU LGBTQ Society, I am pleased to announce a 6-part lecture series running this term through weeks two to seven. This is likely to interest those who are following this campaign, and all are welcome to attend.
Throughout Hilary Term, your Transgender and Transsexual reps will be giving a number of brilliant lectures on issues important to the trans community and the larger LGBTQ community. These are designed to give a thorough understanding of trans issues to those who may not have been exposed to this type of information before.
Highly recommended to anybody involved or interested in LGBTQ welfare, who want to improve their knowledge when it comes to trans issues! Of course, all are welcome whether old hands or those simply curious to learn more.
These lectures will be at 1900 each Thursday from 2nd week (26th January) to 7th week (1st March). Venue is the Daubeny lecture theatre at Magdalen College.
Each talk will be roughly 30-40 minutes long, with an open Q&A afterwards.
Week 2 (26th Jan) – Introduction to Transgender and Transsexualism [Gail Bartlett]
Week 3 (2nd Feb) – Introduction to Genderqueer [Lyman Gamberton]
Week 4 (9th Feb) – Representations of Trans People in Media [Guest Speaker Valentino Vecchietti]
Week 5 (16th Feb) – Medical Aspects of Transition [Gail Bartlett]
Week 6 (23rd Feb) – Trans and Disability [Lyman Gamberton]
Week 7 (1st Mar) – Transphobia and Transmisogyny [Gail Bartlett]
The event has also been posted on facebook, and is being posted here for the benefit of those who do not use social networking sites. I hope to see many people there!
Present: Lyman, Gail, Frances, Katie, Sophia, Jennifer, Mel. Names and pronouns were shared for the benefit of newcomers.
Before the meeting began, there was a brief discussion of Lyman and Gail’s plans for running a lecture series on trans issues next term, and it was suggested this could be implemented into Queer History Month.
Though the agenda stated that this meeting would cover Uni wide issues, Katie reports that Seb from OUSU has not yet had time to obtain information regarding changing university policy on sub fusc, so discussion this week will have to once again focus on Common Room motions.
Common Room Motions:
The possibility of opening this blog up to all editors, and that editors would post ‘attractive’ stories on here, and propagate the links on facebook. This was agreed upon, and Gail added additional editors to the blog.
Sophia came to the meeting to discuss the version of the main motion passed by Merton college, and why Merton made the changes to the motion that it did. The campaign discussed the problems that gendered dress codes have to people beyond trans people, and agreed emphatically that this is an issue that affects all kinds of people, and that this can be used as a point to make in future versions of Common Room motions.
However, Frances did make a comparision to the Think Outside The Box (CUSU) campaign, pointing out that they have a very limited focus and we should not stray too far, else we lose focus.
Frances asked whether the campaign felt that the proposed changes from “Male Welfare” and “Female Welfare” to “Welfare (Male)” and “Welfare (Female)”, with a clause urging Common Rooms to open all welfare positions to access by all students needing welfare, were acceptable. The campaign felt that these changes were acceptable, and there was a brief discussion on whether the (Male) and (Female) markers were needed at all.
Frances suggested that there be two reps, “broadly female-identified welfare rep” and “broadly male-identified welfare rep”, referred both as just “welfare rep”. Further discussion on how this would be implemented as a constitutional change. Jennifer did not agree, felt that this constitutional change would be far too difficult to implement and would be resisted by colleges. Katie believed that, on the whole, elections would not change and thus these would not be a problem.
Frances urged those present to read other the new draft motions during the week, so that she may propose them at the last JCR meeting of her college, which is the only one where she can make a constitutional change.
The next meeting was agreed to be held in a pub, as ‘little would get done anyway’ as 8th week is very busy for all involved.
Two new motions were discussed in this meeting, which was the first with the campaign being a campaign of the LGBTQ Campaign. The meeting began with the definition of “Safe Spaces”, a concept important in both motions discussed.
The first concerned male and female welfare reps, and ensuring that these positions of their equivalents have a mandate to provide support to all comers, regardless of their gender, so that those who may not fit into “male” or “female” have a welfare officer catering for them. Various comments were made concerning the motion, and it will be placed online for further consideration and editing.
The second motion concerned gendered events, and noted that the original JCR motion included on this website was not sufficient for stopping the exclusion of trans-identified or non gender-binary people. The motion accepted the need for safe spaces in gender-specific welfare events, but pointed out that gendered events outside welfare events can be done away with. Various comments were made concerning the motion, and it will be placed online for further consideration and editing.
Further campaign meetings will occur every week for the rest of turn. The current mailing list is being retired, in favour of using the LGBTQ-Campaign mailing list.
Hi! This is Gail, here to talk about what we’ve achieved so far in the campaign. We’ve had some great responses from JCRs who have passed the motion, as well as some interesting questions and issues along the way.
Now that we have an established sample motion, and it has been accepted by some colleges, we have to look towards getting the remaining colleges to pass a motion of support. This will provide us with a backbone of consensus which we will use to give us leverage when lobbying the university as a whole.
This is where you come in! Are you from a college that has not let passed a motion of support, but wish to support the Genderless Campaign? Anybody can support the campaign, and we would be more than willing to provide anybody performing this vital action with any information or help that they need.
The following colleges have already passed versions of the campaign’s motion:
3. St. John’s
7. St. Hugh’s
9. St. Catherine’s
10. Corpus Christi
We are also looking towards working closely with OUSU and really pushing forward the university-wide agenda this year. Watch this space.
Sorry it’s been a slow start to term. Things are slowly beginning to roll now, as we decide how to move forwards; if you want to be involved, either come to the Mitre on Sunday 6th November at 12 noon, or come to LGBTQ Campaign on Wednesday 9th November at 7pm. Currently, I’d advise you not to start putting forward any more JCR motions, or sending letters to Senior Tutors, as we are revising our strategy and the substance of them may well change in the coming weeks! Please come along; it would be wonderful to have some more support. ~Frances (OU LGTBQSoc Trans Rep)