How purple is the UT?


This Friday it is ‘purple Friday’. A day where students dress up in purple to show their solidarity with the LGBT- (Lesbian-, Gay-, Bisexual, Transgender- ) community. A day that once started on a high school in 2010 but quickly gained foothold at different educational institutes throughout the Netherlands. A small gesture from an organisation, but a world of difference to an LGBT student who has not fully settled yet.

One of the reasons why days like purple Friday are still being held, is to discuss the subject of discrimination based on one's sexuality or gender identity. With a society controlled by mainly heterosexual people, it is easy to create policy from this heterosexual mindset. To shed some light on this matter, we celebrate days like purple Friday. And now that this special Friday is almost there, it seems the perfect moment to discuss how purple our own university actually is.

About the authors: DAS

This article has been written by the university council party DAS. Our student party represents the active student, who seeks to expand their skills besides the standard study programme. LGBT-rights are an ongoing discussion in our society, but we noticed that at our university there is almost no discussion about the matter, hence our article. What are your views on the matter? And what should we do to make the university more open to everyone? Please let us know by sending an email to: [email protected]

Sadly, we are faced with an unpleasant shock, because our university is doing almost nothing when it comes to supporting the LGBT community. And that whilst our university is within one of the Netherlands’ rainbow municipalities. These municipalities are actively striving for more LGBT friendly policies. Saxion, ROC Twente and COC Twente - Achterhoek (which are the applied university, vocational education, and LGBT rights organisation in Enschede) are working together with the municipality on this policy.

Does our university choose to avoid this subject? I can hardly imagine it being the case. The subject of LGBT tolerance would certainly fit our university, which is well known for its small scale, friendly and open attitude. It is a wasted opportunity to not actively aim for a safer and more welcome university for students and employees. Our university is often seen as safe and welcome, so why would there be the need for LGBT-specific policy? That is the question we should be asking ourselves; is the university as safe and welcome as we think it is, or should some things be changed?

The problem we are facing is that nobody has a clear answer to that question.That is why I would like to request all readers to look at their own attitude and ideas when it comes to matters like homosexuality. Because perhaps you are, unknowingly, making it more difficult for people who are still struggling with being themselves.

It might be too soon to see a rainbow flag waving at the entrance of our university, though I would like to close this article on a positive note. Imagine how wonderful it would be if our university could still show its support to the LGBT community this Friday. If everyone carries around something purple, we show that we are open to everybody. Imagine how awesome it would be if our own rector would show his support by wearing a purple tie? By a taking a small step in the right direction, together we can make the university a bit more open for everyone.

Stay tuned

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