The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion office of South East Technological University (SETU) Waterford hosted the launch of the LGBT+ Staff Network in Waterford on 31 March 2022.

An enthusiastic gathering of staff representing schools and various support offices of the college gathered to hear about the network’s aims from members of the newly established LGBT+ Staff Network.

The LGBT+ Staff Network which is now established on the Waterford campus of SETU is inviting new members who identify as LGBT+ and supporters who don’t identify as LGBT+ from across all SETU campuses.

Lecturer Dr Cara Daly, and PhD student Thomas Curran spoke on the importance of LGBT+ visibility in the workplace and to students in third level education.

Dr Daly said “Our coordinating committee are focused and clear regarding what we want to achieve over the next number of years. We want SETU to be a safe environment where the LGBT+ community are visible, proud and where we are considered. Together with our allies, the LGBT+ Staff Network will all work pro-actively towards positive change as we strive to embrace diversity and create a college community that reflects society at large.”

She added “We have designed the Network to be a welcoming, inclusive and change-driven community. Staff members and postgraduate students who identify as LGBT+ are welcome to join the network. Allies who do not identify as LGBT+ are also welcome to join”.

Vice President for Equality Diversity and Inclusion Dr Allison Kennelly and former WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly welcomed all present to the launch especially the SETU Waterford LGBT+ Student Society (GráSoc).

Thomas Curran, one of the founding members of the LBGT+ Network said “Our main goal is to ensure a safe space in SETU, one that encourages self-affirmation and celebrates the pride we feel in ourselves. Today we launch the staff network on a hugely important day within the LGBT+ community - Transgender Visibility Day.

“The trans community are an integral part of the society and have helped to pave the way for the whole LGBT+ community. Yet, despite this, the trans community face a huge amount of discrimination and this highlights the prejudice that is still happening today. Installing the LGBT+ staff network is just the first step towards breaking down any prejudice against the community within the college, and in society as a whole.”

The LGBT+ Staff Network will work to ensure every member of staff and all students and visitors to the college feels safe and supported enough to embrace their true selves. Their mission and guiding principles are explained here.

The LGBT+ Staff Network now invites new members from all SETU campuses. If you would like to get in touch with the LGBT+ Staff Network, please email [email protected].