first_imgAlthough it was originally noted  in the agenda that  “St Hilda’s doesn’t have a flagpole like the posh colleges, but does have plenty of wall space in the bar”, an amendment was made to “ask the SCR if they will fly it on the Hilda’s flagpole” when it transpired that Hilda’s does in fact have a flagpole. Helena Dollimore was also delighted at the JCR’s reaction to the motion, and told Cherwell that the formal and flag would help raise the visibility of LGBTQ issues in the University.  The meal will be partly funded by money set aside for an LBGTQ event from the JCR, which will go towards wine for guests. The formal hall will be held on the 17th May, which is the official International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).  Other students at St Hilda’s praised the work of the Albert Kennedy Trust which “supports young LGBT 16-25 year olds who are made homeless or living in a hostile environment.”  However, with a finalist standing in as LGBTQ representative for this year there has not been the time. Stephen Pritchett told Cherwell that though there is support in college for LGBTQ awareness, “There’s just not a lot of queer Hildabeests willing/able to fill the position [of LGBTQ rep].” The motion noted that the “JCR believes: 1) It is important to recognize the 17th May and raise awareness of the struggles homosexual and transsexual people face around the world and  here in Oxford 2) Formals are one way of doing this 3) Displaying the LGBTQ flag is another way of doing this.” She said, “It sends out a really clear message that St Hilda’s JCR recognises the importance of LGBTQ issues. It’s crucial that we raise awareness of the issues that LGBTQ people face on a daily basis … and also celebrate the LGBTQ community” Stephen Pritchett, currently Treasurer of the OU LGBTQ society, as well as the St Hilda’s JCR LGBTQ representative, told Cherwell, “I think it will help make LGBTQ issues, which can be fairly invisible in this college at times, much more prominent.” St Hilda’s JCR has voted unanimously to ask the SCR to raise a rainbow flag on the college flagpole and to hold a charity formal in aid of the Albert Kennedy Trust, to celebrate the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.  The Trust provides emergency accommodation as well as campaigning to improve attitudes in society towards LGBT young people. In previous years, St Hilda’s has hosted a cabaret to celebrate LGBTQ issues in college as part of their Gender Equality festival.  In the meeting on Sunday 12th May, the motion, proposed by Helena Dollimore and seconded by Stephen Pritchett, passed with an amendment to ask the SCR to raise a rainbow flag on the college flagpole.  The 17th May was the date in 1990 on which homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization. The previous LGBTQ officer for St Hilda’s, Ricky Nathvani, who attended the JCR meeting, said the JCR is very happy to support the charity. “The statement of support that Hilda’s sends out is absolutely clear: We do not tolerate homophobia, and to remember that this is an issue for which we all have to come together, regardless of sexuality, to overcome,” he said.last_img

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