This was originally published in Tharunka's 2023 Term 3 Print Edition.
Over the course of 2023, we’ve been focused on building a stronger community for queer students at UNSW, pushing for stronger protections both on and off campus, and producing support resources for the queer community.
In September, we crossed 650 members, meaning the Queer Collective now composes 1% of students on campus. We’ve also run over 20 events this year already (at the time of writing), with 3 more scheduled before the end of term 3. We’ve also collaborated with the UNSW Law Society, Queer Students in STEM, the UNSW Sapphic Society, and the UNSW Postgraduate Council on providing educational and social events that are accessible to all students at UNSW. We’re also working with Shalom College to run Queer Sensitivity training for Residential Advisors, which we hope to expand to other UNSW Accommodation providers in 2024.
We’ve started 3 key campaigns this year, all aimed at improving the outcomes for queer students.
In March, we started a campaign to introduce more gender-neutral bathrooms across UNSW’s Kensington and Paddington campuses. We believe that the availability of bathrooms is essential to our vision of equity for queer students both on and off campus, and that gender-neutral bathrooms provide an important recognition of queer students from the university.
In July, we reinvigorated our campaign for a new queer space, providing a safer space for our students on campus with better accessibility and security. Our aim for this initiative is to modernise the queer space, enabling us to host events and meetings in a manner that is in line with our goals of accessibility and equity for all Queer Collective members. At this stage, Estate Management is still confirming which facilities are available to move into, but we’re hoping for a move in early 2024.
In early October, we committed to a campaign for fighting transphobia across UNSW’s academic settings, including in course content and tutorials. We’ve since engaged with the School of Social Sciences to address student concerns in their lectures, and have been in discussions with the ADA and Science faculties to create policies that extend this goal beyond the Collective.
In 2024, we’re aiming to expand our reach even further:
- Increase our reach at Paddington campus, including QC meetings and events
- Introduce a merch line for queer students at UNSW
- Work with Ally@UNSW and the EDI team to improve queer outcomes in academia