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Equality in education and enlightened employers

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Sky Yarlett and Finn McGoldrick, NUS LGBT officers

Starting out at a new college or university can be daunting, but thankfully most institutions have a society for LGBT students. Getting involved in your LGBT society is hugely exciting as it is a source of support and a fantastic way to make friends with other LGBT people. You can get involved by attending social events, campaigning on issues which affect your community and meet LGBT students from across the country through the National Union of Students (NUS) LGBT. This is a great chance to be yourself, feel comfortable and develop a network of LGBT people who you can laugh, party and campaign with!

The NUS LGBT Campaign is an organisation dedicated to supporting students in fighting for equality and LGBT liberation. From our conference where we debate and pass policy, to LGBT leadership events and our awards ceremony where we celebrate the work you do throughout the year, NUS LGBT is here to support and champion LGBT students. The national officers who were elected at this year’s (2013) Conference are Sky Yarlett (Open Place), and Finn McGoldrick (Women’s Place).

In the last year we’ve seen the same-sex marriage bill pass through parliament and the launch of our Out in Sport research into the experiences of LGBT students participating in sport. We’ve seen the results and recommendations from it be put into practice across the UK at universities and colleges.

This year we’re focusing on improving LGBT students access to education and looking at the data needed to support this. Alongside this we are looking at in depth work into Trans students experiences of education, how staff can be given correct procedures to support students gender identity, how policies can be made inclusive of Trans students and much more.

Alongside our priority campaigns we also support and encourage LGBT societies across the country, so from Aberdeen to Cornwall, NUS will support you on your campuses to create change. Whether you are at university or college, we are here to support you throughout your time in education and as you make the first steps into your future.

We are also here to make sure that throughout your life your identity is never a barrier to achieving your goals. That is why the NUS LGBT Campaign is proud to support the Starting Out careers guide, not only because the most welcome places for LGBT people to work will appear in these pages, but also because its very existence encourages other organisations to do more for their LGBT employees. This guide champions the good practice of employers across the country who strive to make their workplaces fully inclusive of LGBT people.

Get in touch via email at lgbt@nus.org.uk and follow us on twitter @NUS_LGBT to keep up-to-date on our events and campaigns.

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