NUS to elect first Transgender Officer by March 2017
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The NUS has announced it plans to hire its first Transgender Officer by March 2017 to help lobby for equal rights.
When the position is filled, it will make the NUS the first organisation in Europe to introduce a full-time elected trans officer role, according to The Huffington Post.
Whoever takes the role will help to fight for equal rights for the UK’s 28,000 trans students. According to research conducted by the NUS in 2014, 33% of this group had experienced bullying or harassment on campus and more than 50% considered dropping out of university.
The specific parameters of the role have yet to be revealed but NUS LGBT office Melantha Chittenden has called the decision “momentous.”
She said: “Having a dedicated trans officer doesn’t mean that the fight is over though, it doesn’t mean that trans people now miraculously have equal rights, access to education or adequate support.”
The motion to create the role received more than 75% of the vote from NUS members, and since its announcement a number of those involved in the vote have shared their joy at its passing on Twitter and across other social media platforms. The hashtag #transformNUS was also used to help further the campaign to pass this motion.
Chittenden concluded that the movement “has finally given trans students what they want and deserve but most importantly what they desperately need.”
Chittenden has also written a longer comment for The Huffington Post further praising the NUS’ decision. She says that come March when the elected officer takes power, they will be “fighting for things like the introduction of a gender identity clinic in Wales” and that the NUS will “be sure to support them every step of the way.”