A second allegation of bullying and intimidation has been made against Robbie Young, LGBT+ Officer at the NUS, by a delegate attending the NUS Disability conference which was held last week.
@Rah_dv released a statement last week, which has since been removed, saying Young had accused the delegate of being anti-Semitic in his views at conference but was unable to provide any examples of the alleged behaviour.
Whilst Fran Cowling hides from the media it appears that Robbie Young, elected LGBT+ Officer at the NUS, is alive and well after accusations of bullying emerged from the NUS Disability Conference held this week.
In a statement released yesterday @Rah_dv accused Young of instigating a targeted and intimidating attack against him.
Young accused the delegate of being anti-Semitic in his views at conference but was unable to provide any examples of the alleged behaviour.
The delegate described the incident as a ‘horrid and traumatic’ experience only ending because he asked Young not to speak to him.
The attack by Young left him distressed and shaking.
Following the incident Young was asked to leave by the Conference Steering Committee and was barred from returning.
The article, which was published in the comments of the petition post, led to accusations of a personal attack against Fran Cowling, one of two elected LGBT+ Officers at the NUS.
One member of the Society affirmed Fran Cowling’s position asserting Peter Tatchell a ‘racist and transphobic.’(figure 1)
Following some debate with members of the society a member of the committee said ‘Safe space policy does not allow direct attacks on any specific person so Liam Kelly can you please remove your comment about Fran otherwise it will be deleted by me at noon..’ (figure 2)
The constitution of Leeds’ LGBT Society says;
‘1.2.3 To campaign to improve the position of all Members by challenging all types of discrimination and stereotypes, as well as celebrating diversity within the LGBT community’
Despite a pending extraordinary general meeting to discuss the removal of the word ‘campaign’ from the subsection, the post was deleted in violation of the societies ‘safe space policy’ following the decision of the society to be apolitical.
It would appear that whilst they’re happy to support the petition calling for the NUS to review Motion 408, they are unwilling to challenge those who represent LGBT+ students within the NUS.
Fran Cowling was drawn into the public eye earlier this year when she refused to share a stage with Peter Tatchell at Canterbury Christ Church University in February. Fran branded the veteran campaigner, soon to celebrate 50 years of campaigning, a racist and transphobic.
Motion 408 accuses ‘cis gay men’ of ‘misogyny, transphobia, racism and biphobia.’
Despite calls from various media outlets still Fran remains silent on the matter.
Earlier today Peter Tatchell released a statement saying ‘The case for having a gay male representative on the committees is very strong’ due to a number of unique issues affecting gay men, not least the disproportionate risk of HIV.
In its statement Stonewall said ‘Gay men experience homophobia and oppression daily, both inside and outside the LGBT community.’
With the Easter holiday period starting on university campuses around the country it is likely we will have wait some time before we hear from Fran Cowling.
Sign the petition to ask the NUS to reconsider its position on Motion 408 and call for change today.
This comes despite NUS research in 2014 entitled Education beyond the Straight and Narrow in which it acknowledged ‘persistent levels of homophobia’ across UK campuses and ‘a lack of procedures to protect students from homophobic and transphobic behaviour’ being common place at UK universities.
The 2014 research also found that gay men experience more harassment and abuse on the grounds of their sexual orientation than lesbian and bisexual women. 20.7 per cent of gay men reported having experienced name-calling compared to 18 percent for lesbian and bisexual women respondents.
Despite the NUS’s findings just two years ago it appears they now believe that the time has come to separate the ‘G’ from the LGBT and go separate ways. What this means for gay men at university only time will tell.
Please sign this petition to ask the NUS to reconsider its position on abandoning gay men’s reps.