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NUS Trans Conference registration is now open!

Wednesday 14-10-2015 - 16:10

We are pleased to annouce that registration and conference documents are now open and available to view for NUS' first ever democratic Trans Conference.

It gives me great pleasure to announce the opening of registration and motion submission for the first ever democratic NUS Trans Conference - an announcement that has been very long overdue.

The NUS LGBT+ campaign officially added the T in 2005 and was the first time NUS acknowledged the existence of and experiences of the Trans student movement. Since then the Trans student movement has continuously grown, as has the number of Trans specific motions that have been submitted and debated at NUS LGBT conference. Although motions that explicitly affected Trans students could be referred to and debated at the Trans Caucus within NUS LGBT conference, time constraints and the number of motions being submitted to the conference have often made this impossible. This left us in a very problematic situation, where the whole of NUS LGBT conference would vote on motions concerning Trans students. This resulted in individuals who don’t define and usually outnumber Trans students gatekeeping Trans liberation and autonomy.

This year at NUS LGBT Conference 2015, Conference voted to create the first ever NUS Trans Conference. NUS Trans Conference would only be open to those who self-defined as Trans. This will allow Trans students their autonomy and a space to discuss and debate policy that explicitly affects Trans students, that would then go on to become part of the wider NUS LGBT+ campaign’s policy.

NUS has a proud history of fighting for marginalised groups in society and giving them space to organise and a platform to make their voices heard. However, the first NUS Trans Conference could not have come at a more crucial time. Although the fight for Trans peoples’ rights is gaining more momentum within the mainstream media there is still a long way to go. Most recently Stonewall, the UK’s leading LGB charity finally agreed to recognise the T within the LGBT community and the Government is launching its first ever Transgender Equality Inquiry with prominent Trans activists in attendance and providing evidence. Despite all of this, Trans people still face societal and institutional transphobia including but not limited to: legal recognition of their gender identity, marriage equality (as a consequence of the ‘spousal veto’ clause in the same sex marriage bill) and yearlong (sometimes longer) waiting times to access trans specific healthcare. I hope that the NUS Trans conference can bring together a wide range of Trans student activists to discuss how the NUS LGBT+ campaign, with NUS as a whole should be galvanising the movement in the fight for equality and liberation of Trans students. I hope this continues to grow in size and momentum as the years go on.

NUS Trans Conference is free to attend includes lunch and refreshments and will be hosted at the NUS London office. We have space for 50 delegates and places will be offered on a first come first served basis for each students’ union. Each students’ union can send a maximum of five delegates to represent them in one of the following reserved places: non-binary reserved place, black reserved place, women’s reserved place, disabled reserved place, and open reserved place. If unions cannot afford to send a full delegation we are asking that priority be given to filling the Black delegate reserved place as Black Trans individuals are often underrepresented in Trans exclusive spaces.

Although NUS Trans Conference is free to attend we do realise that travel and accommodation costs may be an access issue for delegates from small and specialist unions and Further Education colleges. As a consequence NUS LGBT+ will be providing a hardship fund with priority given to those from small and specialist unions and Further Education colleges (however, funds are extremely limited).

As well as opening registration for NUS Trans Conference, we are also opening submissions of motions to the conference. The deadline for motion submission is 12:00pm Tuesday 27 October 2015.

More of how to submit motions, amendments deadlines and compositing dates can be found here: http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/shape-our-work/nus-conferences/trans-students

Please note that motions to change the NUS LGBT+ conference standing orders cannot be submitted to NUS Trans Conference.

For more information or if you have any questions please email: fran.cowling@nus.org.uk

To register for NUS Trans Conference: http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/events/nus-uk-trans-conference

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