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NUS to elect first Trans Officer

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A new Trans Officer role has been approved by the National Union of Students (NUS) following a December meeting of sabbatical officers in Sheffield.

This will result in the NUS becoming the first European organisation to have a full time elected officer responsible for the protection and lobbying of trans rights.

The motion was initially voted on at the NUS Trans Conference, and then at their LGBT+ Conference.

Sara Boiten, Co-President of Warwick Pride, said: “It was a huge honour to be able to vote for this groundbreaking motion on behalf of Warwick, and our LGBTUA+ community on campus is really excited to see what the NUS trans campaign will do.”

More than 75% of delegates supported the motion to create the new role at the NUS National Conference in April.

The final decision was then approved on 14 December through a members’ vote, and has been welcomed by trans students across the UK who have campaigned for several years for this new NUS role to be established.

The campaign for a Trans Officer has been widely supported on social media, where the hashtag #transformnus was used to raise awareness about the campaign and show support.

An election for the position will be held at the Trans Students’ Conference in March and the chosen officer will start in July 2017.

This decision has reaffirmed my faith in our movement and its commitment to liberation, this isn’t the end, but for now here at NUS we’ll be celebrating this long-sought win.

Melantha Chitteden, NUS LGBT+ Officer

The role of officer will be a paid position, and an autonomous ‘NUS Trans Liberation Campaign’ will also be initiated.

The NUS estimates there are around 28,000 trans students in the UK, however NUS research conducted in 2014 showed only 20% of trans students would say they feel completely safe on campus.

It also revealed more than half of trans students in the UK have seriously considered dropping out of their university course.

In a blog for Huffington Post, NUS LGBT+ Officer Melantha Chittenden described some of the many other problems faced by trans students within the UK, such as the fact that there are no current gender identity clinics in Wales.

Melantha said: “I honestly can’t wait to see what the trans campaign achieves with its own resources and a dedicated officer.

“This decision has reaffirmed my faith in our movement and its commitment to liberation, this isn’t the end, but for now here at NUS we’ll be celebrating this long-sought win.”

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