Student welfare was the central topic of the recent YUSU general meeting with particular emphasis being placed on several LGBT issues.
The meeting saw a wide variety of proposed motions. Of the most successful was the motion to improve data capture and gender options proposed by Peter Warner-Medley.
Part of the proposal resolved to ensure that all forms involved in data capture refer to ‘gender’ as opposed to ‘sex’. In the motion speech Warner-Medley said, “This is point-blank an invasion of privacy to ask for sex. This is asking what’s between our trousers; this is like putting on a form what cock size are you or how big is your penis. It is not fair.”
In the motion speech Warner Medley also raised the issue that all gender fields should be optional “because these are personal issues that might cause people distress.” If successful, the motion resolves the union to “make data capture always refer to ‘gender’ rather that ‘sex’, to make all gender fields optional, to provide… a choice of ‘other’ with an empty text box and ‘rather not say’ where possible.” The policy would come up for review after two years.
Another motion to be raised by Warner-Medley and to carry LGBT implications was the ‘Toilets For All’ motion. Elanin Vince, in the motion speech, said, “Gender Neutral Toilets are a highly important provision for LGBT students. Not everyone can use the standard “men’s” and “women’s” facilities and this is particularly so for those who identify under the “trans” umbrella.” If successful, the motion will “provide, in addition to gendered facilities, at least one gender-neutral toilet at all events where possible.”
Other student welfare issues were raised by Jason Rose who proposed the motion to provide greater support for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities and Em Brownbill who proposed a motion in favour of supporting students’ rights to be identified by their preferred name.
The UGM can now be voted on online at http://www.yusu.org/ugm