Since the start of Michaelmas Term, I’ve been working with Lily, the President of Pride Alliance and, Bali, the Education Officer, and Laura, the Community and Welfare Officer on making LSE a better place for LGBT students to live and study.
We worked on a list of things that need to change at LSE: from financial support for students, to how LSE decides how spaces are allocated in new buildings, to the possibility to change your pronouns as a student. We’ve categorised these aims into three strands: Mental Health Provision, Trans Community Support and Financial Support.
This term, we’ve achieved two major wins: the Counselling Service will now set up a coming out support group for LGBTQ students starting next term, and we will be opening a Liberation Room on campus that will be a safe space for LGBTQ students.
We are still working on two aims that we wanted to achieve over Michaelmas Term: Offer financial support to estranged students and those living in abusive environments, as well as free accommodation in LSE Halls of Residence. This is important for the LGBT community because students who do not have supportive relationships with their parents or carers may not receive financial assistance from them, but also might not qualify for a higher loan with Student Finance England and can struggle to make ends meet. For this reason, we feel students should also have a safety net option of accommodation at LSE if they are unable to pay for private rented accommodation.
We are also making progress with the aim that LSE Counsellors should have specific training and/or qualifications to assist LGBTQ students.
For next term, we are ready to start working on supporting the trans community. We will work on having hardship funds available for trans students who are medically transitioning, ensure our concerns around gender neutral toilets and changing rooms are taken into account when LSE starts designing a new building, and we want to make it easier for students to change their pronouns.
We’re also very excited to bring you a week of events for Pride Week from 15 February -19 February. Expect glitter, rainbows and lots of community-building events.
If you are interested in joining the campaigning, become a member on the campaign page.
Want to know more about what’s on offer to you as LGBT student at LSE? Read the guide I’ve put together, or grab a physical copy during Pride Week.