BREAKING: Leeds Uni U-turns on policy changes which made ‘trans students feel unsafe’

This follows widespread pressure from the student community

The University of Leeds has scrapped controversial changes made to the Trans Equality Policy following increasing pressure from students.

The changes to the policy altered the way transphobic incidents would be dealt with, angering many in the uni community.

LGBT society Trans Welfare Officer Chris Minas told the Leeds Tab that the change had “solidified the fear that trans students are not safe on campus and rubs salt in the wound of many vulnerable students just trying to survive.”

Over 4,000 people signed a petition to “stop the university of Leeds rolling back on Trans equality,” and the LGBT society wrote an open letter the uni.

The uni explained its decision to go back on these changes in a full statement on issued  on its website.

A spokesperson for the University of Leeds said: “At a meeting of Senate – the University’s main academic body – Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk today confirmed that draft changes to the University’s Trans Equality Policy will be withdrawn.

“While these proposed changes were well intentioned and were a response to issues that had come to light, particularly in relation to our current IT systems, it is clear through the consultation to date that they have caused concern to some of our staff and students, including members of our trans community.

“Whilst we accept that some of the proposed changes might suggest the opposite, it was never the university’s intention to water down our commitment to trans rights.

“We plan to remedy our IT systems’ inability to support name changes or rename login accounts through a very significant investment programme in our IT infrastructure. This is not a problem that can be fixed quickly. In the meantime, we will continue to address these issues on an individual basis and apply solutions more widely where we can.

“If in future we do need to make changes to the policy, we will ensure we undertake a new, full and clear consultation process. In that event, we would work with our entire community in a spirit of openness and co-operation to ensure we have a policy that is fit for purpose, is deliverable, and is consistent with our clear commitment to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion at the University of Leeds.”

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