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Warwick students question inclusivity of liberation societies

The liberation societies at Warwick are not as inclusive as other aspects of the University for the LGBTUA+ community, according to respondents from a survey conducted by The Boar.

The survey asked over 100 students to rate various aspects of campus life, including other students, the SU, the liberation societies and other types of societies, in terms of how inclusive they seemed for the LGBTUA+ community. The survey used a point system in which respondents rated each category out of five, a rating of five suggesting the category to be very inclusive.

The category “Other students at Warwick” gained the highest rating from respondents, in which 63% of respondents rated students who study at Warwick at four or five.

In comparison, 22.2% of respondents gave the liberation societies at Warwick the lowest rating for inclusivity. 45.8% of respondents rated the liberation societies as a one, two or three, whilst 15.6% gave the societies a four out of five and 16.5% gave them the highest rating of inclusivity.

One respondent elaborated that they saw the University as a whole was inclusive, but the liberation societies as uncompassionate and aggressive. They said: “I felt very included throughout the rest of the university so it was quite ironic that in the one place that was meant for inclusiveness felt like an echo chamber for overtly aggressive political views instead of a place for compassionate support.”

Warwick is a great example of a university who has improved in their inclusivity for LGBTQ+

– Respondent

Another respondent shared similar sentiments: “in an attempt to be overly inclusive Pride and other liberation societies become intolerant of those who aren’t as overly left wing as they are.”

A third respondent said they were told to “fuck off ” and “go home” by a member of the Pride Exec.

Further questions on the survey also determined that 30% of respondents had received homophobic abuse during their time at university, with a third of students experiencing abuse on campus.

Over half of the inclusivity survey respondents gave the political societies on campus a rating of three or four for inclusivity. However, several expressed feelings of animosity from Warwick Labour Society in the comments section of the survey.

One respondent said: “I have attended events by the Lib Dems and Tories who are very much inclusive. But Warwick Labour seem to have a belief in being the right type of gay, and if you aren’t a socialist, you’re the wrong type.”

Similarly, another stated that the “lefty lattes” of the Labour Society “seemed to dehumanise anyone not in Labour, including claiming that many were ‘faking’ identities.”

Chair of Warwick Labour, Fraser Amos, also faced criticism in March for retweeting a tweet which said that it is not homophobic to assume that all gay people must be left wing.

37.6% of the survey’s respondents rated the SU and its policies five out five for inclusiveness towards the LGBTUA+ community, whilst half of respondents gave Warwick’s Cultural and Academic societies a rating of four or five.

Pride and other liberation societies become intolerant of those who aren’t as overly left wing as they are

– Respondent

In comparison, Warwick’s sports societies were not rated as highly, with 29.4% of respondents giving a rating of three out of five.

The results of the survey come after President of Warwick Pride, Ky Andrea, tweeted: “Why are old right wing gays here? Tory gays fuck off ” and “Can straight people keep their fake tokenistic “support” for us queers pls xoxo Tory gays go home”.

In an interview with The Boar, one student said with regards to Andrea’s tweets: “I don’t understand why the comment was necessary. From what I understand it wasn’t inspired by anything, it was just a random tweet and it made me wonder why they were alienating potentially half of the members of Warwick Pride.

“A lot of the people who are more conservative don’t take part in the society because they’re afraid of being attacked for their political views.”

In terms of Warwick’s Pride’s inclusivity, the student also said that “you’re expected to be vocal if you’re going to be part of any pride movement” and felt that their identity was not acknowledged by the society because they “don’t flaunt it” and aren’t “flamboyant enough”.

This student wanted to remain anonymous as a result of the climate of certain societies.

One survey respondent praised the University as a role model to others, saying that “despite the recent event with the Pres of Pride” they thought that “Warwick is a great example of a university who has improved in their inclusivity for LGBTQ+” and the “incident is in isolation and people are generally very respectful.”

22.2% of respondents gave the liberation societies at Warwick the lowest rating for inclusivity

– Respondent

When contacted by The Boar in response to the survey, Warwick Pride’s Welfare Officer Jess Hughes commented: “As The Boar have decided not to provide us with a summary of the data set, including what proportion of respondents are LGBTUA+ before asking for comment, we cannot comment on
their findings.

“That said, we’d be happy to hear the thoughts of members of the LGBTUA+ community on Warwick Pride, including things they think we could change, either through our Facebook page or at hello@warwickpride.org.”

In regards to the SU’s recent developments, Warwick SU was awarded HE Union of the Year in the NUS Trans Awards 2018. The SU released a statement saying: “Thanks to the ongoing work of the SU’s Trans Officer, LGBTUA+ Officer, Warwick Pride and other student leaders, we’ve achieved a lot in support of the trans community this year, although we know there’s still a long road ahead in achieving trans equality.”

Update:
Warwick Labour has released a statement on Liberation Zine in response to the article.

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Comments (1)

  • Lol, this is pretty standard from the Bore. Liberals are annoying. Just because you read half of 1984 in Year 10 doesn’t mean you’re well-read, and just because you half-heartedly call yourself a lefty and retweet Labour MPs every so often doesn’t mean you’re on a higher plane of thinking to those of us who actually possess enough backbone to have an opinion. At least Tories are what they say on the tin; there’s something significantly worse about lily-livered, smug, self-proclaimed ‘centrists’ who reckon the ‘centre’ is conveniently placed wherever the status quo is. You love to diss actual liberation efforts, but I don’t see you really achieving anything other than running the same freeze peach article 6 times a term. Try harder.

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