Your Trans Students' Officer, Dorian Valentine, has curated this article to inform you of the best places to report transphobia at Warwick.
As it stands, the current situation for trans mental health is rough, especially at university.
The current cultural climate and the amount of hatred currently directed at the trans community can be difficult, if not impossible, to put out of your mind. This can make taking the step of going to university really daunting. While most people are simply uninformed, if not actively supportive of the trans community, transphobia can still become a huge issue on university campuses.
This article will serve to inform you of the best places to report transphobia that you or others have experienced at Warwick and beyond, whether due to active malice or an uninformed misunderstanding that still needs correcting. While I will do my best to make this guide as comprehensive as possible, any questions can be directed to Dorian.Valentine@warwick.ac.uk and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible to help you out.
While the staff in your department or faculty may not be the most educated on the issues that trans students face, they can be a good first choice. Your personal or senior tutor should have a good idea of the other services they can direct you to, and will be able to signpost you elsewhere if it’s not something they can deal with. The best issues to bring to them are:
- Issues that involve course mates and their actions
- Issues that involve module content or the actions of your staff
These things are best acted upon by your department and senior tutor, so make sure to bring issues like these to them.
Departments have an obligation to help you in this regard, but If this isn’t helpful these issues can be raised further. Even if they can’t help you out fully with resolving this issue, your personal and senior tutors should be able to help you to seek extensions on your work through mitigating circumstances if you believe it has harmed your ability to complete work.
The Students’ Union
As you can tell by where this guide is hosted, the SU has several avenues you can go down to receive support, such as:
- The SU Advice Centre: a free, confidential and independent group of people who you can book an enquiry/in person appointment with. Your advisor will be able to talk through your issues and signpost you to a solution, without any university involvement. This can be particularly useful if your issue is with the university, or with a particular person or staff member you don’t want to be notified.
- Nightline: a student-run, confidential peer-to-peer listening service, open from 9pm to 9am every night of term. Volunteers are trained in active listening, and your issues will be listened to and kept confidential. While they may not be trained in the issues that trans students face, they will be able to support you as best they can in the moment.
- SU Officers: there are officers within the university able to speak to you about your issues, such as our:
- Trans Students’ Officer
- LGBTQUA+ Officer
- VP Welfare and Campaigns
These people will be able to signpost you onto further support, take your issues on themselves or even start a campaign to ensure that any issues you’ve faced relating to systems you work with in your university life are resolved for future years.
- Visiting SUHQ: if you’re not sure which avenue is best, you can always go into SUHQ’s Membership Office to ask! Several SU staff who will be able to tell you where to go or who to speak to are based here, and if there are any ways in which you feel that the SU could support you more with what you’re facing, these are the people to speak to! To get there:
- Go into the glass doors to the right of Rootes to enter SUHQ
- Head up the stairs or elevator and through the automatic doors straight ahead
- Head up the stairs directly ahead of you, and turn right at the top
- The office to your right, usually with an open door, is the Membership Office
The university have several avenues through which you can seek support, and many paid staff whose jobs involve improving your student experience. You can get help through:
- Wellbeing and Support: the university’s wellbeing team can provide mental health support and liaise with your department about the issues you have faced, which can be particularly important after big, damaging issues such as hate crime.
- Residential Community Team: these are people who will work to support you while living in your accommodation if you live on campus, meaning that they are able to be accessed and spoken to quite frequently. They are particularly helpful if your worries concern your living situation, but they are still able to signpost you in other ways.
- Health Centre: if you have a mental or physical health issue that would require you to seek aid from your GP, the campus health centre are accessible for on-the-day appointments if you call before 11am, so you should be able to get quite quick and efficient support. It is worth bearing in mind that if you live off campus and outside of Canley, you may need to be with a different, further away GP who will have their own rules on on-the-day appointments, but they’re still worth speaking to if needs be.
- Report and Support: a system through which you can report any harassment, discrimination or other issues you have experienced, anonymous or otherwise. They are victim-centred, meaning that their aim is to support you in completing your report and will put you at the centre of their support and assistance, rather than treating it as an interrogation, and they can help you with issues both on and off campus.
Many of the above support centres will be able to signpost you to external resources, particularly if the transphobia you have experienced was criminal. While these may not be based on campus or specifically tied to the university, sometimes that can be beneficial. Please don’t disregard seeking help just because it isn’t focused exclusively on students – you’re still eligible for and deserve aid.
I hope this was helpful and has helped you to find support for what you’re facing. If you’re still not sure where to go, please don’t hesitate to get in contact!
Trans Students' Officer