Stevenson College Edinburgh joins Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) groups throughout the UK during February to celebrate the lives and achievements of the LGBT community and to encourage everyone to see diversity and cultural pluralism as a positive force in society.
Stevenson has a number of special events planned to highlight LGBT issues, including a film festival sponsored by the Cameo, a library exhibition and a Vox R Box to allow students to voice their opinions. Posters and banners have been displayed around the College with bookmarks created to raise awareness.
Ann Munnoch, Equality Officer at Stevenson College Edinburgh, said: “We are very proud of our reputation at Stevenson for supporting the LGBT students at the College and we look forward to celebrating their achievements. All students are encouraged to participate to ensure a greater understanding of the issues.”
A spokesperson for Healthy Gay Scotland Group said: “LGBT History Month is an opportunity to celebrate who we are, and what we have done. All too often the achievements and diverse nature of the LGBT community is passed over or ignored. LGBT History Month is our chance to right that wrong.”
In November 2008 Stevenson College Edinburgh was commended at Scotland's Colleges Annual Awards for promoting equality and diversity for LGBT students. The Awards recognise the effort made by colleges to improve the learner experience and the Equality and Diversity commendation praised Stevenson for the way it helped LGBT students successfully integrate into college life.
One of the initiatives, a Buddy Scheme which is now in its third year, provides students with a mentor to support them whilst at the College. Student volunteers are trained as Buddies to ensure they are well informed to support students. Katherine Buckle, Lecturer in Student Support and Guidance at Stevenson College Edinburgh, said: “The Buddy Scheme was originally set up to give LGBT students in the College some peer support. The scheme has since been extended to include peer support for all students.”
Stevenson College Edinburgh was one of the first colleges in Scotland to have the LGBT Charter; a mark which is continually assessed to ensure the College continually works towards LGBT equality.
Notes to Editors
Stevenson College Edinburgh celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2010. When the College opened in 1970 at the Sighthill Campus it had three thousand students. Today, it is one of the largest colleges in Scotland with over 18,000 students, of which nearly 3,500 are full-time (2008/09 academic year) and over are 1,000 EU and international students.