Lane (they/them) is a third year Social Policy and Politics student. They are running to be Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s next Trans and Non-Binary Officer. The Student interviewed Lane to find out more about their campaign.
Why are you running to be the next Trans and Non-Binary Officer?
In my last three years at Edinburgh, I have been inspired by the ongoing activism and progress being made, and especially the resilience we have shown in the face of the pandemic. I have also borne witness to the continued struggles of students and the distance we still have to go. I have been an organiser for more than a year with Stand Up to Racism Edinburgh, and my experience there putting together community events and press releases has meant a greater awareness of oppression in Edinburgh but also of the impact that anti-racist pressure can have.
This year, I am a member of the Trans and Non-Binary Liberation Campaign, where I support our current Officer, Jaime, in their work. It was Jaime’s encouragement that gave me the confidence to run; I am so grateful for their support and for the support of my community. As officer, I will bring my vision for a university that provides all-encompassing support for all trans and non-binary students. I want to ensure we have consistent and inclusive healthcare services, bathrooms, and other facilities. I also want to organise events that affirm our multiplicity where we can laugh, create, share, and learn together.
How is campaigning going so far?
The trans and non-binary students running campaigns got some hurtful news last week that our posters had been targeted and taken down by presumably one or a few individuals (the posters were all stamped by EUSA and in approved locations). This was hard news to hear, especially because I am on my year abroad right now so this was my primary way of having a physical presence and Jaime, our current Trans and Non-Binary Officer, had taken the time to put those posters up on my behalf, so the disrespect felt compounded. I was able to get more posters put up thanks to another friend and have not heard of it happening again, but it shows that our work of affirming trans and non-binary students on campus is far from done. The reactions to my online campaigning on social media have been really positive, which is encouraging.
What is your most ambitious manifesto point and how are you planning to implement it?
My most ambitious plan for this coming year is to campaign for meaningful changes in the ways that trans and non-binary students access health services in Edinburgh. We already know that the waiting times for health services and the lack of knowledge among healthcare providers is unacceptable for our students; what we need is action.
To make the biggest impact, I will work not just with the university health centre but with NHS Scotland as well, and will meet with a range of stakeholders, from healthcare providers to university administrators to policymakers. By taking a structural approach, I hope to improve healthcare for students in the long run as well as in the immediate coming year.
I also plan to create meeting spaces for trans and non-binary students to share their experiences in accessing healthcare. These problems are shared ones and we should not struggle alone.
Do you have any collaboration plans with other liberation officers for Trans and Non-Binary students with intersecting identities?
I absolutely plan to collaborate with other liberation officers and connect our campaigns whenever possible. Liberation necessitates, from its very core, that all of us are committed against oppression in all forms and expressions, and in turn that all of us are committed to lifting up each other. For me, this will include supporting and promoting other campaign events, as well as co-creating events with the officers that affirm intersectionality. While the Trans and Non-Binary campaign will always be anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-misogynistic and anti-homophobic, there is much to be gained from collaboration and mutual uplift.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Best of luck to all the candidates! No matter the result, I remain committed to the work of uplifting trans and non-binary students at Edinburgh.
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Image Courtesy of Lane Deamant