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March 19, 2012 | by  | in Uncategorised | [ssba]

Students Have a Gay Old Time

UniQ’s O Week party showed that there is a large LGBT community at Victoria, but Voluntary Student Membership has left the University’s queer student group struggling to find the resources to support them.

Around 150 students packed Cuba Street’s gay bar S&M’s to capacity in a celebration VUWSA’s Queer Officer Genevieve Fowler described as “pretty outrageous”.

She told Salient that since the event UniQ had received a lot of Facebook traffic, with students sharing ‘likes’ and positive feedback.

Despite the high level of interest in UniQ, Fowler said the end of compulsory students’ association membership meant the support group would have to search for extra funding to keep up the level of advocacy they’d given queer students in the past.

“We don’t really know how it’s all going to pan out yet, but we’re definitely not going to have as much moolah as before—which sucks,” she explained.

Although there was still some uncertainty around where funding would come from Ms Fowler assured Salient that UniQ will remain “alive and well”, citing sponsorship recently granted from safe sex campaign group Get It On! as helpful.

Fowler suggested that the stress put on clubs may reflect that the architects of the VSM Bill did not consider that many minority groups like LGBT students relied on students’ association revenue for advocacy and support.

“For some, university life and self- expression isn’t such a breeze. That’s why we exist,” she said.

She stated that UniQ and VUWSA would work hard to ensure Victoria remains a “great place to be gay” throughout 2012, and encouraged students to get involved.


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