The safe space policy aims to make the society a safe place for all our members. It applies to all of our spaces, both online and offline.
Southampton University LGBTQ+'s safe space policy is founded on the principles of:
It is imperative that each and every member of Southampton University LGBTQ+ is shown respect within the Society. This respect ranges from being included at events to feeling comfortable and confident enough to partake in regular discussions. With regards to social media, every society member should feel comfortable in starting or involving themselves in any general or (if they wish) personal discussions within the forum. When contributing in such discussions, every member has a right to speak their opinion, so long as it is not personally derogative towards members or generally inappropriate.
Southampton University LGBTQ+ is proud of its inclusivity and the diversity of its members. The society has a policy of confidentiality, however, to ensure the privacy of all of its members. Whilst socialising is great, it is important to recognise the privacy of each member- especially when using social media. Our Facebook group is also strictly hidden, meaning only members can see other members, so don’t worry about family or friends seeing what you post.
Needless to say, Southampton University LGBTQ+ welcome all students and university associates regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. Southampton University LGBTQ+ is intended to be an arena for socialising and free thought; any attempts by individuals to undermine or force personal principles or beliefs onto others will not be tolerated. In addition to this, any derogatory comments made regarding ethnicity, religion, age, gender and sexual orientation will not be tolerated. If comments are made, the committee are quick to react by either removing said posts from social media or talking to the individual personally to tell them why we do not tolerate such behaviour. This in turn creates a safe community in which society members can freely express themselves without fear of prejudice.
As Southampton University LGBTQ+ is proudly diverse, this is naturally going to be, it is natural for members to have strong and differing opinions within the society. Whilst debate and discussion is healthy and moreover encouraged, it is important that the harmony of the group is not damaged. If a society member is hurt or offended by anything said either personally or in general, the committee encourage them to contact us as a means of resolving the issue to ensure minimal tension between members. If in the worst case scenario society members fall out, the committee will suggest for said individuals to mediate their differences through talking to one another, unless there is a possibility an individual’s personal safety is at risk from verbal or physical abuse. If personal issues between members are still visibly unresolved to the extent other members feel uncomfortable, the committee reserve the right to remove individuals from social media groups and, in extreme cases, exclude them from the society.
Whilst we try our best to look after our members and ensure their safety, we are fully aware that we are not experts. Fortunately, the University of Southampton has some excellent services for all students. If an individual contacts the committee regarding a problem about their personal health or incident and we consider its severity to be out of our hands, we feel we have no choice but to refer the individual to professionals within the university. Again, if an individual contacts us regarding a crime they were a victim of, the committee cannot force, but will strongly recommend and support the decision for the individual to contact the police to make matters further. This is to ensure every member in the society that asks for help is helped to the best of ours, and others ability.
Members of the society may make use of the facilities offered by the Facebook group, such as photo galleries, file uploads or event invitations, in connection with the aims of the society. Use of these facilities does not imply endorsement of any content or event by the society or committee, and members must use their own judgement when choosing to attending member-organised events or engaging with content posted by other members. The committee may, at their sole discretion, choose to remove or alter any content posted in the group.