In response to the statement from professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University (http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-09-06-statement-louise-richardson-vice-chancellor):
The remarks made by the Vice-Chancellor at the Times Higher Education Summit expressed an implicit support of homophobic comments, which have saddened, angered and offended many members of Oxford University’s staff and students. The statement the University has published today on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor in response has disappointed all here at Oxford SU. We are saddened by the Vice-Chancellor’s choice neither to acknowledge nor apologise for her comments, particularly with regards to the impact on students. The students we represent at Oxford SU deserve an explicit apology from the Vice-Chancellor. Her comments ignored the need to ensure students, particularly in the context of a student-lecturer/tutor relationship, do not face harassment and feel able to report it. Thus, Oxford SU invites the Vice-Chancellor once again, to:
- Confirm her own commitment to the University of Oxford Equality Policy;
- In keeping with the Equality Policy, to reaffirm that the University aims to “embed equality in all its activities” and remains committed to “fostering an inclusive culture 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”;
- To remind all academic staff of their responsibilities under the Equality Policy and the Equality Act 2010 to “promote an inclusive research and learning environment”, and to clarify that the expression homophobic views in a teaching environment is not tolerated at the University.
- To address any such matters that students raise in future, by ensuring the relevant faculty receives adequate education about the relevant aspects of the Equality Duty, the HRA, and university policy, and providing the individual with all necessary training and education in order to comply with the law, and the university’s policies.
Oxford SU would like to emphasise that Louise Richardson’s comments do not reflect the attitude and actions of Oxford SU and of many other avenues of this university towards members of the LGBTQ+ community. Oxford SU is committed to advocating for the further of LGBTQ+ equality, at Oxford and across the world. We also commit to ensuring that students feel able to express their identity, in any way they choose, during their time here, and beyond.
If you have been affected by the Vice-Chancellors comments or have experienced discrimination during your time at The University of Oxford and would like support, please get in touch with;
- Your elected officer for Welfare and Equal Opportunities Farheen: email@example.com
- Your other elected officers: ousu.org/representing-you/your-reps/
- The brilliant Peer Support team: ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/counselling/peersupport, and in particular, the Rainbow Peer Supporters: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your LGBTQ Campaign: facebook.com/lgbtqoxford / email@example.com