Taking Open@TUoS to our students

Open@tuos supporters

Our LGBT allies initiative, Open@TUoS, launched in January 2016 as a way to engage our whole University community with the importance of fostering a safe and inclusive environment. By registering for Open@TUoS anyone who works here, regardless of their sexual orientation, can pledge their support for LGBT staff and students.

Now, as it enters its second academic year, Open@TUoS has almost 850 supporters including people from every faculty, our AMRC and right across Professional Services.

In Intro Week 2016, colleagues in our Equality and Diversity Team and LGBT Staff Network launched the next phase of Open@TUoS and chatted to students about our new #RainbowLanyard campaign, to raise awareness of what the lanyard means and the importance of visible support for LGBT staff and students.

Our rainbow lanyards are given to members of staff when they register as an Open@TUoS supporter, as an extra indication of our commitment to inclusivity. As a visible symbol of support to both LGBT students and colleagues, they’re a great way for us to raise awareness of LGBT allies within the student community.

Sharing support with our students

At our Intro Week sofa and cake stall, set up to share news of our LGBT initiatives, the message was clear: our University is a an inclusive place to work and study, where staff and students can be themselves.

Colleagues at the stall also shared useful resources with students and signposted them to support offered by our staff and student LGBT networks.

Feedback from students who visited the stall was really positive, with many saying the initiative made them feel welcome, supported and confident to be themselves.

Browse more of the photos people shared on the day in our Equality and Diversity team’s Storify coverage.

Got any photos to share? Head to Twitter and use #RainbowLanyard.

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What’s next?

Our Equality and Diversity team have more exciting plans for the coming year.

They’re hoping to hold more sofa and cake sessions for students in the Students’ Union foyer later this year to boost support and knowledge of the LGBT allies campaign.

Watch out for an Open@TUoS allies programme for tailored groups of student-facing staff like our Students' Union and Student Services staff, Porters and staff at the student residences, as well as raising awareness at staff faculty away days.