The Student Council needs a transgender voice. This is a matter of representation. The LGBTQ+ Soc already elects a Trans Officer as a Soc Rep. We have two, and both are doing all the work of a full SU Officer but without the recognition. We need a genuinely elected representative - by the community, of the community, and for the community!
The trans community is surprisingly big; bigger than the university census would have you believe. Not everyone who is out as trans now was out when they enrolled, and most will not have ticked the trans box. People go stealth, or have passing privilege, or are non-binary, and all these groups have a greater tendency to not tick the trans box. As do those who had a hard time in school and therefore expect a hard time at uni. If the census says a hundred students then you can be sure the actual number of students under the trans umbrella is at least three hundred. Add to that the fact that we have more community visibility, more resources, and more accessibility of resources and provisions than ever before; the actively trans population will increase at a greater rate than the general population.
Despite this, it's hard for a cisgender person with the greatest of intentions to convey trans needs to the Council accurately. The community isn't well understood, and after decades of willful misrepresentation by the media and by a transphobic current within feminism which touts itself as academic, you can forgive us for being a little insular. The route to equality is through genuine representation.
The advantages are clear:
*Someone to run trans events like TDoR and TDoV
*Someone to ensure that the T is kept in LGBT History Month
*Someone to maintain the RSU's resources for transgender students
*Someone to ensure that future provisions do not exclude trans students
*Someone to liaise with NUS' Trans Officer on wider campaigns
This was controversial within NUS for years (before we finally won an NUS Trans Officer) for one main reason: the budget. An NUS full-time officer costs fifty grand per year to train, to employ, and to maintain in role through their travel budget and campaign budget (half of which is the salary itself). For a Liberation Officer it's fifty again to operate their annual conference. But that's NUS. We're not NUS, we're RSU. Our Liberation Officers are unpaid volunteers with no real discretionary budget outside of their societies' budgets (and the Trans Officer would remain part of LGBTQ+ Soc, so there would be no extra pot of money). The only financial difference would be the union having to print one extra hoodie, and for a union which prints hundreds of hoodies a year that difference is chicken feed.
Beyond that, all the talk of it splitting NUS LGBT and dividing the community came to nothing. There was no split, no division, no weakening of solidarity, and the world kept turning. There is no reason to expect anything different for RSU.
This needs to happen. There is no reason why it shouldn't happen. But it needs your vote to make it happen!