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Caring for LGBTQ+ members of our community

St Catharine’s College is a diverse and vibrant community wholly committed to fostering an environment where all students, staff and Fellows are able to thrive. Our commitment extends to all aspects of College life, including the provision of protection and support, to ensure everyone in our community feels safe and a sense of belonging.

Through honest self-reflection, we can learn from our 15th-century foundations and how, with each generation, the St Catharine’s community has modernised and become more representative of the wider world.

We review our commitment regularly and below are some of the key ways in which we strive to create a caring and supportive community:

  • Providing visible support networks for LGBTQ+ students, staff and Fellows
  • Establishing a gender expression fund and hardship funding for JCR and MCR members, which can help cover the cost of clothing, transport to and from gender clinic appointments, gender recognition certificates, deed poll applications, etc.
  • Celebrating the contributions of LGBTQ+ members of our community, including by marking national and international days of significance, including Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • Appointing an LGBTQ+ Fellow to enhance the support and advocacy on LGBTQ+ issues available for students, staff and Fellows
  • Producing targeted resources to support the welfare and wellbeing of students, staff and Fellows 
  • Hosting a wide-ranging programme of activities designed to widen participation in higher education by under-represented groups, including raising awareness of the welfare and wellbeing support available to St Catharine’s students

“Across Cambridge, as many as 30% of students and staff who identify as LGBTQ+ reported that they did not feel comfortable disclosing their sexuality and/or gender identity within University spaces1, so it is essential that St Catharine’s continues to be open and responsive to LGBTQ+ issues” – Isabella and Miruna, JCR LGBTQ+ Officers

“I am delighted that St Catharine's will be one of the first colleges in Cambridge to respond to the Care+ campaign. Catz has always had a welcoming atmosphere, and now we have the opportunity to formalise this good practice, and to reflect upon what we can do more to make our community even more supportive of LGBT+ students, staff, and Fellows." – Frey Kalus, MCR LGBTQ+ Officer

The role of our LGBTQ+ Care Group

In Easter Term 2021, the College’s Governing Body considered the many ways in which St Catharine’s was already nurturing an environment that values diversity and is supportive on issues of importance for people who identify as LGBTQ+. Governing Body voted to create the LGBTQ+ Care Group to build upon this important work by providing a dedicated forum for discussing issues that affect LGBTQ+ members of the St Catharine’s community.

The LGBTQ+ Care Group can recommend further investigation and/or action to the College’s various committees to ensure any issues are resolved as effectively as possible. For example, there are ongoing discussions about the training opportunities offered to students, staff and Fellows at St Catharine’s. The LGBTQ+ Care Group can ensure these discussions consider opportunities relevant to LGBTQ+ issues and support.

The membership of the group aims to bring together representatives for all facets of the St Catharine's community:

 

Role

Incumbent

JCR LGBTQ+ Officers

Isabella Woolston & Miruna Tiberiu

MCR LGBTQ+ Officer

Frey Kalus

LGBTQ+ Fellow

Dr Caroline Gonda

Welfare Officer

Mary Simuyandi

Staff representative

Kathryn Singleton

 

1. lgbtQ+@​cam. Out at Cambridge. Available online: https://www.lgbtq.sociology.cam.ac.uk/projects/out-at-cambridge#the%20report