It’s official: Nottingham Uni is getting a rainbow road

There will be one installed on each campus

Sam Hawkins, LGBT+ Officer, spoke to The Nottingham Tab about his latest project: installing a rainbow road on campus. This idea follows a rainbow road installation in Lace Market.

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Rainbow road installation in Lace Market

He says that the "purpose of the rainbow road at The University of Nottingham is not only to show solidarity with the city by mirroring its efforts, but also to show that our campus is one of inclusion.

"Projects like this are incredibly important in tackling the systematic barriers that prevent people from marginalised groups from bringing their best selves to their degree; this being issues of underrepresentation and invisibility to name a few."

There will be an installation on each campus: Univerisity Park, Jubilee and Sutton Bonnington. The exact location on each campus has yet to be determined and you can have your say on where it goes by filling out this questionnaire.

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Mock-up of what it could look like, without the additional black and brown stripes

Not only will the installation include the six colours of the original Pride flag created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker (red, orange, yellow, green, indigo and violet), but Hawkins suggested adding two additional stripes to the installation: black and brown.

He believes that "as a community, we should draw attention to the relationship between the LGBT+ and BME communities and the intersection of the two.

"In addition to this, I think it is important to educate people that the Stonewall movement was basically started by Black and Latinx Trans women (Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera respectively)."

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Mock-up of the rainbow road outside Portland

The exact cost of the installations has not been determined yet as "this was not discussed at the University Executive Board meeting", Hawkins told The Nottingham Tab, "however, the univeristy have agreed to fund the project".

This isn't the only project that will be completed throughout the year. Since Hawkins began his term as LGBT+ Officer in July he has already "led a campaign to improve the on-campus health service to make it more accommodating and supportive of gender incongruent patients", and he has many more projects that he is currently working on.

He is working alongside the UoNSU Sports Officer in an #InclusivityInSport campaign "where we’re encouraging all the University sports clubs to tie their shoes with Rainbow Laces on the 27th November to raise funds for Stonewall."

He has also "lobbied the University to include an opt-in ‘Preferred name’ and ‘Pronouns’ section on all student/staff registration forms in time for the 2020/21 student intake to alleviate issues of misgendering in correspondence and meetings. I’m working closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity Inclusivity and the IT department on this," and he will be "presenting a motion at Union Council regarding this in an attempt to solidify our stance as a Students’ Union."

In addition to all of this, and his studies, he has "met with the SU to create an interactive map of all the Gender-Neutral Toilets on campus."

However, he says that "the Rainbow Road will undoubtably be the most visible."

It is expected to be installed in February in time for LGBT+ History Month.