Words: Emma Del Dot
If you were at Parramatta today you might have noticed that a magical rainbow crosswalk appeared outside of the bookshop. But what is this sorcery and why is it there?
The Rainbow Campus Task Force is a small group of students who are determined to make life easier, safer and better for Queer Students at Western Sydney University. This week they are holding a series of small actions across multiple campuses in an attempt to spread the word.
The group have developed a list of eight improvements that the university could action very easily; and which will instantly improve life for queer students at Western Sydney University:
1. Make safe spaces safe
All students have a right to feel safe. Accessible and protected Queer Spaces on all campuses, and online, have a vital role in student life!
2. Guarantee SSAF for Queer Collectives
1 in 10 students are Queer. We should have input into the spending of SSAF, on initiatives that support our community.
3. ALLY training for ALL staff
Let’s give ALL staff comprehensive training on how to be allies, because understanding and empathy are crucial in breaking down prejudice.
4. Say goodbye to dead names
It’s not that hard – listen to queer students when they tell you that they have different pronouns and names to those on file.
5. Love should always be #UNLIMITED
Love is love, is love, is love, is love. Be public about #PRIDEUNLIMITED and support marriage equality.
6. We all need to pee
Sex-segregated bathrooms expose queer students to indignity, harassment and assault. Unisex bathrooms should be the available in all buildings.
7. Re-staff vital support services
Queer students are far more likely to need mental health support. EVRS (Early Voluntary Retirement Scheme) gutted Counselling. It’s time to fill the vacancies.
8. Fund Respect. Now. Always.
The Respect. Now. Always. project fights assault, rape and stigma. We need a permanent staff member to unite our community.
How can I get involved?
Visit westernsrc.org/glitterunlimited where you can find the demands, see some cool footage from Mardi Gras and sign the Rainbow Campus petition.
You can also get involved on campus! Here’s what’s going on:
Monday March 29
Crazy chalk rainbow sorcery – although it had to be removed at 5:00pm :'(
Tuesday March 28
Free halal snack packs (HSPs) and an opportunity to sign the petition
From 12 noon until they’re gone (approximately 20 mins, we wish we were joking)
Rainbow activities and free donuts co-run by the SCC and Queer collective
Pledge making, music and free food
10 am to 4 pm, Building 1
Wednesday March 29
Queer Collective pop-up stall with free BBQ
Come say hi to your friendly QC members
11 am to 3 pm, Stable Square
Thursday March 30
Queer Collective Movie Night
Queer films with cool people
6 pm onwards, location TBA
Friday March 31
Rainbow Nerdfighter Friday
Board games and nibbles in a Queer friendly environment
4 pm onwards, Bar Cafe (building N)