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Written by Angel Ma, LGBQ+ Officer, 2021 - 22

Hi! My name is Angel (She/Her) and I’m a second-year Zoology student. My favourite animals are spiders and I wish to go into research looking for new species of spiders in the future :P. I’m going to be your LGBQ+ student officer for the 2021/22 academic year and I cannot wait to let you guys know what we have in store for the future.

Why I ran for this role

I ran for this role because I recognised the lack of support we had last year as freshers. With the LGBQ+ student officer position being unfilled last year, I recognised there was a need for a personal touch that connect the students with the LGBT+ Student network and allows us to access everything available to us. Some people didn’t even realise that this kind of support was even available. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to fulfil my vision this year.

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate and welcome our new UCL students for this year. You’ve made it! I know you guys are probably having mixed emotions right now as this is a beginning of a brand-new chapter in your life, especially if you are part of the LGBQ+ community. London is a very vibrant and diverse city with endless opportunities for us, and my priority is to make sure that everyone feels safe and secure enough to explore and express their identities, and all that this university and city has to offer. UCL will always be a safe place to be who you want to be.

What I'm going to do for you

My plan for this academic year will be mainly focused on the variety of events and socials that we offer. I want to make sure that everyone can find something that suits their vibe, and no one will be left out by any means. If you love a night out in London, we are planning clubbing events with our favourite clubs and bars. If you like a chill vibe and a night in, we have movie nights and board game nights that will be hosted right here on campus. We’re even planning collaborations with your favourite societies like anime society, bubble tea society, K-pop society and many more. Even if you can’t make it to London this term, you will not be missing out as online gaming events and online screenings will also be hosted, with group chats and virtual common rooms so you will still get to meet and chat with other LGBQ+ students. I aim to host smaller events weekly and larger events bi-weekly, so make sure to always be checking out social media for the newest update!

I would also love for everyone to know what UCL has to offer for LGBT+ students. The main one is Student’s union UCL LGBT+ student network which I belong to. This network supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and/or asexual students during their time at university. This network is divided into different representations for different minority groups such as BME rep and women’s rep. We are the primary source of your support and we can take care of any problems that you may encounter. To reach out regarding may problems, you can message us on Instagram/Facebook @ucllgbt. We also have support group chats available, you can be added to them by doing us on the aforementioned platforms.

There are other changes I want to put in place that will make UCL a safer environment for us. As I’ve mentioned in my manifesto, I want to encourage societies and teaching departments to be active and vocal about supporting the LGBT+ community. I’ve come to realise that a lot of the time, people have doubts about whether the societies they want to join can really be a safe place for them to express themselves without holding back. I would hate for anyone to miss out on any society due to this reason. The support I’m looking for can be in the form of a sentence in their description of the student union website or their social media page. I’m also looking for staff and student union members to actively include their pronouns on the student union website and their email footer to normalise respecting people’s pronouns. I hope to have these changes made for the next academic year. 

My deets

I believe my role is to represent the voice of the whole community and I want to actively listen to every single one of you. If you have any suggestions regarding events we should host or changes you want to see on campus, or you just want to talk to someone, I’m always reachable through email ([email protected]) and on Instagram @_.strawbebbies._ I check emails and DMS daily :). If you have any questions for the LGBT student network, then please message us on Instagram/Facebook @ucllgbt. You can also arrange a face to face meeting with me on campus to talk about issues that you would like to mention in person, just drop me a message and we can arrange a meeting. I look forward to hearing from everyone!