York scores highly on LGBT University Guide

The University of York has scored eight out of ten checklist points on the Stonewall ‘Gay by Degree’ University Guide.

Run by the LGB charity, Stonewall, the recently launched guide has been designed “for all lesbian, gay and bisexual students; and all those in-between”, to aid prospective students in making informed decisions on Higher Education institutions, based on LGBT issues.

Stonewall cites “two main groups” for LGBT students at York: YUSU LGBT, and LGBT Allies @ York, “a student-run service which offers resources and support for the LGBT and Queer-friendly community.”

The Guide highlighted that the provision of compulsory staff training on LGB issues at the University of York is a point which many other institutions, including Cambridge University, do not offer.

In 2007, Debora Fenney, a member of the University of York’s Christian Union, announced that she was bisexual. Following this, she was ‘dismissed’ from her post as Social Action Representative. Fenney subsequently proposed a YUSU LGBT endorsed group for LGBT Christians. Despite the provision of a link to a Times Online article which featured Fenney’s case, York’s score was not affected.

Stonewall also stressed the significance of YUSU LGBT socials in giving a well-rounded LGBT student experience.

One of the two points left uncompleted by the University of York was a lack of LGB specific career advice. However, policy that protects LGB students from bullying and explicit welfare support for LGB students are both in current practice.

The website is said to also dispel myths about Oxford and Cambridge universities, as well as offering financial advice for both prospective and current students.

Visit: www.gaybydegree.org.uk

26 comments

  1. Amusingly enough, Stonewall have fallen into the perennial trap of confusing York University (Canada) and the University of York (UK). The ‘LGBT Allies @ York, [who are] “a student-run service which offers resources and support for the LGBT and Queer-friendly community”’ may do so, but they do it in Canada, not the UK! The two groups here are YUSU LGBT and LGBT Social.

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  2. I admit I’m a bit confused as to why “the lack of LGB specific career advice” is a problem. Why would LGB students need different career advice in the first place?

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  3. George – because just as there are industries/organisations that are very LGBT friendly, there are also those that are not.

    LGBT careers advice would help people like myself target our applications at the former, not the latter.

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  4. ‘B’ monster – point taken. However, there are also industries/organisations that are racist, sexist, xenophobic and many other things. Should we also provide specific careers advice to women, ethnic minorities etc.? Fair enough if people want it, but to me that sounds a bit patronising. Would’t a simple reminder of existing anti-discrimination laws be enough?

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  5. “However, there are also industries/organisations that are racist, sexist, xenophobic and many other things”

    Yes, and organisations set up to monitor discrimination on any of these other dimensions are free to publish information on this. In fact I would encourage them to do so.

    As a student that identifies as bisexual I can tell you it isn’t patronising at all. It would be useful advice.

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  6. Organisations are certainly free to publish information on this, and it’s never been easier for those interested to access it. The question is whether there is really a need for careers advice to be tailored for every demographic group on campus. If you think that would be helpful to you, fair enough. But speaking as an international student, I can’t say I’ve felt the need for that.

    I think we also need to consider the possibility that such tailored advice would in fact be counter-productive. For instance, if a company was to decide that it should try to become more inclusive and more representative of gender, race, nationality and sexual orientation, then how would this proposal help? It probably wouldn’t – people would be put off from applying to this company, thus making it far more difficult to improve.

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  7. Hey George:

    Have you looked up anything on positive discrimination etc? You’ll find that actually, initiatives like getting the “Stonewall Mark” have a large impact on getting a more diverse application/workforce.

    This is not necessarily because the “award” does anything per se, but rather due to the steps the organisation has to take in order to obtain it.

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  8. Why is this news at all? What about the best university to be straight? I’m quite frankly tired of LGBT and the militants that make up YUSU LGBT!!!!!

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  9. “Why is this news at all? What about the best university to be straight? I’m quite frankly tired of LGBT and the militants that make up YUSU LGBT!!!!!”

    how have any of LGBT’s activities throughout the year been any where NEAR militant?

    you’re straight, therefore you don’t need to know where is best to be a minority. because you make up the majority, you are the socially accepted norm, you will suffer no prejudice or persecution. nobody will bully you, make you feel like shit, or break you down. you have had the privilege of not having to experience any of the issues faced by LGBT students (and people in general…) so you have no right to complain that ‘straight people’ (who have always had it better, let’s face it) don’t get a guide to uni either. do you have any idea how intimidating uni must be for a transgendered person? that’s why stuff like this is important. i’m glad that people are getting support and feeling included in uni communities and i don’t see why you’d be against that.

    i’m not even a member of LGBT or actually LGBT myself…i just can’t believe the ignorance of some people!

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  10. “I’m quite frankly tired of LGBT and the militants that make up YUSU LGBT!!!!!”

    Ah, militant homosexuals. Is that you Nick?

    “you’re straight, therefore you don’t need to know where is best to be a minority. because you make up the majority, you are the socially accepted norm, you will suffer no prejudice or persecution. nobody will bully you, make you feel like shit, or break you down.”

    So sexism, racism and xenophobia all belong to the past, and the only remaining prejudice is sexual orientation?

    @Barrista:

    I do not know anything about the Stonewall Mark. If it is somehow encouraging more diverse applications, then it sounds like a great initiative. If, on the other hand, it’s about ‘positive’ discrimination, then I’d find it as patronising and hypocritical as all other forms of discrimination.

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  11. Why does the Nouse article suggest that a high mark for being full of gays is a good thing? Am I the only person who thinks that being gay is wrong?

    That was a rhetorical question by the way, but before anyone pipes up, I’ll just get this in. I am not alone. I have Jesus Christ with me.

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  12. You should see a doctor mate. I think you’re probably schizophrenic if you think a magical creature lives with you…

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  13. @George
    If I’m correct, the ‘Stonewall Mark’, i.e. the Stonewall Diversity Champion program, is not a form of ‘positive discrimination’ but is a good-practice network of organisations that work together and with Stonewall to ensure that they create a working environment that allows LGB people to be themselves.

    It’s also worth pointing out that Stonewall, controversially, doesn’t represent the T in LGBT. So this guide does much less than it could in helping people who are trans not be daunted by university.

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  14. 11 Jul ’10 at 6:03 pm

    and...rethink

    I think you’ll find Jesus Christ never made a direct reference to homosexuals and the bible makes no ‘trumpeting’ of the issue with minimal little in the form of directly referencing homosexuality. Of all the issues the bible addresses its not a fundemental point. Everyones entitled to their own beliefs as long as they don’t seek to harm others as a result of such beliefs or impose such views onto others. Plus if you’re going to have views and base them on someone or something then at least show evidence. Let people be.

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  15. “So sexism, racism and xenophobia all belong to the past, and the only remaining prejudice is sexual orientation?”

    No, but we’re discussing the need for the LGBT society here, so my reply was ONLY inclusive of LGBT issues, not sure what your point pertains to.

    “I think you’ll find Jesus Christ never made a direct reference to homosexuals and the bible makes no ‘trumpeting’ of the issue with minimal little in the form of directly referencing homosexuality.”

    Not a homophobe or a practicing Christian, but my family is Catholic & I went to catholic school throughout my life therefore know tons about the bible! These aren’t specific to Jesus’ words, as the new testament is compromised of his disciples writing his life ‘works’ for him. Anything they say is implied as the direct word of Jesus, just in case you didn’t know!

    – firstly, sex is merely for procreation. the idea that “god loves you before you were formed in the womb” and that every sperm/egg is an indivudal known to god…so masturbation, protected sex, or gay sex is unholy as it results in the ‘destruction’ of lives.

    – and, sex according to the bible should be restricted to married couples. until a couple of years ago, homosexual couples couldn’t get married. Also, homosexual couples aren’t married in the eyes of god, as marriage is reserved for a woman and a man, so it’s still deemed as unholy even in marriage.

    most of the rest are C+Ped quotes from another website but I’ve included the references in case you want to check them:

    – The Apostle Paul, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declares that homosexuality “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9; 10).

    – Homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God. He said to His people Israel, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).

    – If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13).

    – God spoke plainly on the matter when He said, “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel” (Deuteronomy 23:17).

    etc etc. I don’t agree with it, but you can understand why some one indoctrinated with this document can be homophobic (e.g: Max).

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  16. Look gays, I’m not a homophobe. I just know that in the eyes of my lord JC, homosexuality is a sin. I’m not scared by it and neither do I mean any harm to those who practice it. They just shouldn’t practice it is all. And we certainly should not be celebrating the fact that York is deemed to be full of them. I don’t think we really want to go the way of the ancient city of Sodom do we?

    I’m not indoctrinated I just hold a valid belief based on my religion. If you deny me the right to a belief in a religion… well, that’s how wars start. Haha I’m just yanking you, I’m not going to declare war on you. But seriously don’t be mean about my religion.

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  17. Max, I hope you are not being serious.

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  18. Relax guys – Max is just trolling, stop taking everything so seriously.

    A.

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  19. 12 Jul ’10 at 10:21 am

    Anonymous Massive!

    Anonymous Massive! would like to applaud this “Aris” character (whoever he/she/it may be, though it’s probably an anagram) for his Massive! contribution to the topic. Without him/her/it/anagram, I’m sure many Nouse readers, Anonymous or otherwise, would have been Massively! confused as to the trolling or non-trolling intentions of Max Rouffier (which is definitely NOT an anagram, and I should know). The fact that Aris has taken time from his/etc busy schedule of not being at York anymore to make such a Massive! comment on such a Massively! important comment thread takes my Anonymous breath away

    Yours in Anonymity
    Anonymous Massive!

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  20. Anonymous Massive, I’d like to congratulate you on your amazing sense of humour. It seems that all you do in your life is waiting for me to post online so you can make some hilarious joke. Whilst it’s flattering knowing that there is somewhere out there a person whose life revolves around my comments, and amusing as your wit is, I’d ask you to do yourself and others here a favour: go outside, play some sports, have a picnic, meet some friends (if you can find any). Enjoy your summer!

    Best regards and wishes for a more creative future,
    Aris

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  21. 12 Jul ’10 at 1:00 pm

    Anonymous Monster

    Aris – Anonymous Massive is in no way related to Anonymous Monster, you should know…

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  22. YUSU LGBT caters for all those who wish to make a song and dance of their sexuality and define every action of their lives through it and constantly push it on others. Well done.

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  23. “YUSU LGBT caters for all those who wish to make a song and dance of their sexuality and define every action of their lives through it and constantly push it on others. Well done.”

    I’m not a member of LGBT, or identify as LGB or T.

    I’ve hardly seen any evidence of their campus activity? even when nominations/voting were open for various roles, their posters were always comparatively non-obtrusive nor in vast quantities. I don’t see how you can see it as being pushy, they’re really not.

    how often do you see massive posters on campus for their socials? how often do you see them demonstrating on campus?

    they’re there to support and accommodate LGBT issues, and help LGBT students who may be finding life a little hard as a result of their LGBT identity. they’re just as important as nightline in terms of work.

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  24. is it just me, or does every society that is made to support groups (LGBT, Women’s Society etc) in this university get slated for not supporting other people? “WHY ISNT THERE A MEN’S SOCIETY OR A STRAIGHT SOCIETY! DISCRIMINATION”

    uh… go make one if you’re that bothered…

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  25. 15 Jul ’10 at 2:18 am

    and...rethink

    Forgive me George I didn’t realise you happened to be a biblical expert due to ‘going to a catholic school’ and having a ‘catholic family’. If that’s the level one has to be at for biblical knowledge supremacy then whoopie we’re all experts! You’ve picked a handful of verses which are constantly recycled by homophobic christians; many of the verses don’t refer to homosexuals yet have been interpreted to do just that. I speak with a tad conviction given my parents are both vicars and I attended a christian summer school in Israel for the last 10 years to study that book you know so much about…bible.

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  26. 15 Jul ’10 at 2:21 am

    and...rethink

    Apologies my last comment was aimed at ‘dddd’ as opposed to George who actually talks sense.

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