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.