“The Uni could do a bit more”: Cardiff Uni students share their experience of being LGBTQ+ on campus

And it’s not a one size fits all!

For many young people, moving to uni is the start of living in a free and accepting atmosphere, where they can express themselves without judgement, but is this a reality for LGBTQ+ students?

The Tab Cardiff reached out to LGBTQ+ Cardiff students to learn about their experiences on campus, and here’s what we found.

‘It’s been so much more accepting than my hometown is’

We asked Cardiff’s LGBTQ+ students how they felt about their experience of living in Cardiff, many students responded positively of their experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Cardiff, with many complimenting the community and the inclusivity of Cardiff and the university.

82 per cent of the people we asked said that they have had a good experience living in Cardiff as an LGBTQ+ student, this astounding majority would seem a positive sign that Cardiff students have a great experience on campus, however, there is still an 18 per cent of Cardiff students who do not feel that their experiences in Cardiff have been good.

‘I feel like I don’t know who the community is, or how to be a part of it’

While we received a greater number of positive responses, there is still a percentage of students who do not feel like they have had a good experience. This is an indicator of the problems and issues that LGBTQ+ students face in their day to day lives on campus, including overt anti-LGBTQ+ behaviour for some and a lack of representation on campus for others.

‘The student body are mostly really great, but the Uni itself could definitely do a bit more’

With the recent push for Cardiff Uni to cut ties with the Stonewall charity, LGBTQ+ students are pushing for the Uni to do more to support them. While the uni does have support services in place, many students feel that this is not enough.

‘It (societies) gave me a safe space to feel open enough to even claim it out loud’

Many students complimented the societies and clubs on offer for LGBTQ+ students. In fact, 80 per cent of the responses we received were positive. The Students’ Union’s societies offer students a free and inclusive space to be themselves and a great opportunity to become part of the community. However, responses seem to vary between societies and clubs with one student telling the Cardiff Tab: “It’s good if you’re not in sports. Then it’s hell for some”.

The experience of sports ‘hell’

20 per cent of the people we spoke to did not believe that Cardiff Uni’s societies and clubs were inclusive.

A student described their experience to The Tab Cardiff as “hell”. The history of negative experience for LGBTQ+ in sports is not a new one. Homophobia and non-inclusivity often seem to be issues of the past but such testimonies show that they’re as prevalent as ever.

Clubbing and nights out

We asked Cardiff’s LGBTQ+ students if they felt safe going to nightclubs. While the majority of responses said that they did, 25 per cent said they still felt unsafe. Nights out are one of the major aspects of uni life and if so many feel unsafe in nightclubs, then this highlights some of the major issues within uni culture that need to be resolved.

A Cardiff University spokesperson said, “We are fully committed to working with our LGBTQ+ student and staff community to ensure they get the advice and support they need.”

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