THE UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD is serious in working towards being a trans and non-binary friendly and inclusive University. The move comes after support staff noticed a significant increase over the last few years in the numbers of students who had sought help with gender transition or were exploring their own gender identities. The University has strengthened links with charities that work with trans people, such as Manchester-based LGBT Foundation and 42nd Street, and are making sure all frontline student staff receive training in trans and non-binary support. This includes ensuring the University’s own counselling and wellbeing services can refer students who are questioning their own sexuality or gender to outside agencies who are able to provide help.
It also includes making sure staff at the on-site medical centre have a full understanding of trans issues, and volunteers working on the Nightline phone service – which provides student-to-student support – are provided with training. Other moves include pledging to provide gender neutral toilets in all University buildings – as a choice alongside the existing male, female and accessible toilets – by the end of November 2018, and developing a non-negotiable list for the campus masterplan that includes planning for a spectrum of genders. We will also be providing optional non-gender specific titles, sitting alongside ‘Mr’ and ‘Miss’, such as ‘Mx’ for student registration in September 2018 and asking all students their pronouns during online registration.
A University of Salford spokesperson said: “The University of Salford has a proud history of welcoming trans students and we’re keen to build on this,” “Although there is no benchmark for this, we’ve been consulting with national and local trans organisations and individuals, as well as working closely with our own trans students to develop an action plan outlining what we can do better. This includes ensuring all frontline student services receive training in trans awareness, strengthening our links with local charities, and providing support groups for those who may be questioning their own gender identity. We have also set up a Salford Trans Forum, made up of trans staff and students and allies, who will lead on this work to ensure that it is focussed on the needs of the trans community at the University."