At the part-time officer hustings on Monday evening, Ruby Harrison, who is running to be re-elected as Women’s Officer, answered questions about trans inclusion and upcoming projects.
Ruby hopes re-election will enable her to carry on with the work she has been doing this year. When asked about a new project she would like to start, Ruby said she was interested in looking at changing attitudes towards sexual harassment. “At the moment there’s still a lot of it going on,” said Ruby in regards to the problem. She noted it is an especially big issue on nights out.
“Our celebration will always include all women, including trans women […] They’re an important part of the Women’s Network”
Four subsequent questions addressed the inclusion of trans people in the Women’s Network. The current bylaws state that “the constituency of the Women’s Network shall be all full members of the Union who self-define and live as women,” with one of the questions pointing out that this could be exclusionary to trans women who have not yet come out.
Ruby stressed that the network is open to everyone who identifies as women, regardless of “if they are a trans women who are not full or at all out yet… or any people that identify to any degree as a woman and feel that they can be helped by the Women’s Officer”. She hopes to work with the LGBTQ+ Network to ensure that anyone who identifies as a woman to any degree is included.
Ruby was also asked how she plans to combat the historically trans-exclusive nature of International Women’s Day. “Our celebration will always include all women, including trans women […] They’re an important part of the Women’s Network,” answered Ruby. On the day, she wants to highlight the inclusion of trans people.
“She also intends to visit the Sutton Bonington Welcome Fair next September to establish her presence”
Ruby was also asked what steps she plans to take to make sure the network is more inclusive of trans students. “One of the things I’d like to do next year is have some events that are specifically looking at that sort of thing,” said Ruby. She hopes to introduce talks where people could share their experiences to help show that the network is for everyone. The talks will hopefully be a joint project with the LGBTQ+ Network.
Lastly, Ruby was asked to address how she plans to make herself recognisable on Sutton Bonington Campus which has a very high proportion of female students. She said she’d like to hold events and socials there. She also intends to visit the Sutton Bonington Welcome Fair next September to establish her presence.
“I want to be Women’s Officer again because I have a lot of ideas that I want to take forward,” concluded Ruby.
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