Brand new for the 2023/24 academic year, we will be sharing who has been nominated as the Student Officer of the Month.

Student Officers are student volunteers that work part-time to represent groups of students at UCL. If you would like to find out who your Student Officers are for the 2023/24 academic year please click here.

Student Officer of the Month
Micah Gerstner

The fifth Student Officer of the Month is Micah your LGBQ+ Officer. As the LGBQ+ Officer, Micah is here to is to ensure that LGBTQ+ students are represented in student democracy. Micah also shared that "I attend at least 4 meetings a month, one for each Zone. When students identify problems, I'll bring them up at topics for discussion at the appropriate zone meeting. If necessary, I'd also draft a policy to bring to the Zones. My secondary job is to ensure that queer folks feel welcome on campus. My social secretary and communications officer help out the most with this by hosting and advertising our multiple events each week. When I'm not doing all my meetings, I try and host a meeting too!"

Since commencing their role in July 2023, Micah has:

"working hard on ensuring that student Networks have the best support possible available to them. There is still a lot of work to be done, but since I began in my role, Networks now have pages on the SU website and mailing lists. I also made sure that Networks can have all the roles available to them that they need, such as Welfare Officers. We're still looking to make it easier for Networks to book rooms for their own events, but the ground work has been laid to push Networks in the right direction.

Besides developing Network, I've been preparing for my big events of LGBTQ+ History Month – Queer Karaoke Night and inviting guest speakers. We were lucky to invite Yasmin Benoit, an aromatic-asexual model and activist, to speak to our students. She shared her experiences as a black woman in the industry and the difficulties aro-ace people face. Queer Karaoke Night was a hit! We hope to host it again, in the near future. I also had the privilege of speaking at the "Tackling violence, harassment, and hate incidents: 2024" Conference hosted by Universities UK. I spoke alongside Anji Suri, the Trans Officer, and Dr. Clara Baker, the Dean for Equality and Diversity at Linacre College, Oxford University. The panel was moderated by David Bass, the director of EDI at Advanced HE. I shared student experiences of transphobia and provided suggestions on ways to support students, such as through external funding like the Gender Expression Fund, including trans folks in the curriculum (especially medicine!), and creating an inclusive environment.

I've also attended a LOT of meetings. Making sure that queer students, especially trans students, feel welcome at UCL is a challenge, given the institutionalised transphobia at UCL. Since getting the role, students running for election can now indicate their pronouns in a dedicated field, a web page is being made to highlight how gender non-conforming students can get involved in sports, and encouraging better sign posting of student support. As a disabled student, I also advocated for better accessibility to the University, especially in shared spaces at UCL (I'm looking at you Student Centre!)."

Micah has been nominated for this award because:

Micah has truly been incredible in their role at LGBQ+ Office and they are so deserving of this award.

In the last month they have submitted a policy proposal regarding pronoun integration at UCL, they have planned and developed multiple events and activities for LGBT+ History Month and they have constantly been advocating for students at all of the Policy Zones and Union Executive. They have also been a brilliant co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Network and an absolute pleasure to work with.

Thank you so much for all of the work that you do! :)

Congratulations Micah - Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to your role!

"I'm always free to contact at my email, [email protected]. If you want to learn more about me as a person, my Insta is @micahgerst. I want to make sure to thank Jayne Flowers who supported us throughout the first term, Ahmad Ismail who has continued to support me from day 1, and the Equity and Inclusion Unit who help me put on bigger events!"

If you would like to nominate a Student Officer for the February award then you have until Monday 25 March 2024 to send in your nomination here