After pressure applied by students and staff, the University of Leeds has withdrawn its draft changes to the Trans Equality Policy.
In a statement issued Wednesday 10 March, the University said: “While these proposed changes were well intentioned and were a response to issues that had come to light, particularly in relation to our current IT systems, it is clear through the consultation to date that they have caused concern to some of our staff and students, including members of our trans community.”
“Whilst we accept that some of the proposed changes might suggest the opposite, it was never the University’s intention to water down our commitment to trans rights.”
Alongside detailing a plan to remedy the institution’s IT system and its inability to support name changes, the statement continues: “If in future we do need to make changes to the policy, we will ensure we undertake a new, full and clear consultation process. In that event, we would work with our entire community in a spirit of openness and co-operation to ensure we have a policy that is fit for purpose, is deliverable, and is consistent with our clear commitment to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion at the University of Leeds.”
This comes after an open letter and accompanying petition were circulated by LUU LGBT+ Society. Staff unions UCU, Unison and Unite subsequently called for the draft to be scrapped via a letter to the University.
Of the update, Chris Minas, Trans Welfare Officer of LGBT+ Society, told the Gryphon: “We’ll be working closely with trade union representatives to make sure the voices of trans staff and students are properly represented. We appreciate the University withdrawing their draft and look forward to working with them.”
Read the full statement from the University of Leeds here.
Image via Anushka Searle.