LGBT+ specific accommodation oversubscribed as uni defend against ‘segregation’ claims
The SU say the policy is ‘extremely important’
The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Students' Union have defended the new LGBT+ only accommodation after criticisms of the policy appeared in national media outlets.
The policy, which was announced in May, has been described in The Telegraph as "creeping segregation" by Simon Thompson, Director of Accommodation for Students.
The University of Sheffield have insisted they do not want to "encourage any feeling of segregation", while Sheffield SU described the flats as "extremely important".
Demand for the accommodation, which is situated as flats in the same block as flats which are not LGBT+ specific, has outweighed supply.
30 LGBT+ students have applied for 12 places, and it is thought that the offering will be expanded next year.
A Twitter thread posted by 2017/2018 SU Women's Officer Celeste Jones, who worked alongside the LGBT+ committee on the policy, clarifies that "other people will be living in the same block", and a wide range of LGBT+ students were consulted by the committee.
It is easy to understand why many LGBT+ students would prefer to live with others from the community as a Stonewall report earlier this year found that 42 percent of LGBT students in the UK are forced to hide their sexuality at university.
The report also found 33 percent have received “negative comments” from other students.
The University of Sheffield have said: "Our student union and LGBT society confirmed that [the flats] would provide a supportive and comfortable environment."