The Queen’s College’s JCR voted unanimously this week to introduce a Transgender Representative to its executive committee.
The move sees Queen’s join Wadham, Magdalen, and Lady Margaret Hall, who all introduced equivalent positions earlier in the academic year, amongst others in providing a position to represent those who no longer identify with their birth gender.
The motion noted that statistics from the Oxford SU LGBTQ+ Campaign revealed that “98% of trans students at Oxford have experienced mental health issues, over 60% have experienced transphobia, 1/3 have considered suicide, and 50% have self-harmed.”
Quin O’Sullivan and Alice Shepherd, the proposer and seconder of the motion respectively, also noted that while the transgender community was a part of the wider LGBTQ+ community, “there are issues they (the former) face in the wider world and in university life which an LGBTQ+ rep may not be able to fully provide for.”
The pair went on to express how they hoped that the introduction of such a rep would help both prospective and current students who identify as transgender to “feel more comfortable and confident during their time at Queen’s.”
This move, they said, aligns with the University’s Equality Policy which “promotes equality, values diversity, and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected.”
Shepherd, who is JCR LGBTQ+ rep at Queen’s, told The Oxford Student: “As an equalities team we’re delighted that the motion passed.
“We really feel that the creation of a trans rep is a positive step forward for the college and one that any current or potential transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex student at Queen’s will benefit from.
“Given the recent statistics introduced by the SU LGBTQ+ campaign on the mental health of trans students at Oxford it’s important that we continue to work towards promoting the health and wellbeing of these students in any way that we can and we are confident that our new trans rep will be more than up to the task.”