Student Officers Blog

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Celebrating diversity and inclusion

Written by Ben Hunt, KCLSU President 2016/17

When I was LGBT+ Officer I carried on a campaign that had been running at King’s for several years to make the window representation at Strand more representative of the King’s community. LGBT+ students over several years had been concerned with the portrayal of Lord Carey of Clifton as an alumni who should be celebrated due to his views expressed during the debate regarding gay marriage. A petition was signed asking for his removal by hundreds of students several years ago, as well as policy being passed through our democratic system endorsing the Union to take this stance.

Motivated in part by this campaign, but also by a desire to ensure that the diversity of students and alumni at Kings was represented, I worked with the University on the digital display content which currently shows images about the past achievements of King’s, our present student and staff community and what mark King’s wishes to make in the future, in Service of Society. Over several years we have also worked on a number of other projects that seek to express the diversity of the King’s community.

The digital windows express a community which strives to be accepting of diversity and inclusive. It comes after a campaign of several years which was concluded through collaboration and a shared will of the Union and College to do more to represent what all of the King’s community does in service of society. It is this message, one of collaboration and inclusion, which I would like to emphasise. For journalists to employ language like ‘gaystapo’ which has very negative connotations for LGBT+ groups, as well as for people of colour and the Jewish community, is hurtful and harmful and creates a tone of division which this project does not represent.

I hope that my reasoning has been made clear. The campaign was a representative one and I ran it in my capacity as an elected officer. It is positive that we now celebrate a more representative sample of the King’s community, past, present and future which can inspire students, and alumni to look beyond the walls of King’s and outside into the world. The intention was never to create a climate of division in the King’s community, instead, to emphasise all of our strengths in accepting and supporting each other.