Respect Irrespective launched by Students’ Union

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The 17th of February saw the launch of Respect Irrespective by Durham Students’ Union, a week-long anti-discrimination campaign.

Respect Irrespective set out to target on-campus stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination, as well as to start conversations about the issues, and what can be done to change them.

The main event of the week saw the signing of the Government’s Sport Charter to promote equality on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues; it was signed on behalf of the student body and Team Durham by Dan Slavin, President of the Durham Students’ Union, and Hannah Lowther, President of Team Durham.

Also of great significance during the week, was the launch of a new policy on Equality and Diversity, which has been created by Durham students.

Grace Abel, Communities Officer at Durham Students’ Union, commented: “We are very excited about the launch of the new Equality and Diversity Policy because it truly is a student driven change. Colleges across both campuses have been invited, through their Welfare Officers, to input what they would like to see in the policy”.

Other events and activities that took place during the week included; Equality and Diversity training, which took place throughout the day on Thursday and a panel discussion between the Students’ Union Feminist Society and a rugby club, which took place on Tuesday evening.

Mary Caulfield, a first year student at St Aidan’s, who attended the panel discussion, said of the event “I thought that the discussion was really well directed by Jola [Adeyemo], President of FemSoc, who followed a detailed line of argument.

“The audience made it a really heated discussion, although there were some who weren’t willing to engage with the criticism of lad culture. Overall though, it was a heart-warming evening!”

Abel added: “We hope to see a range of people from the student body getting involved with the various activities taking place. Whether you have been affected by any of the issues or not, we still encourage you to get involved.

“In particular we would like to see as many students as possible coming along to Maiden Castle to sign the Sports Charter. Many of the sports teams have already committed to getting involved in this via Team Durham, and we encourage other students to also show their support.”

Image Courtesy of The Durham Students’ Union

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