TREY and Tampere University raise a flag for gender and sexuality minorities
The Student Union of Tampere was invited on 8.6. to Tampere University’s steering group, for which TREY had prepared an equality-themed presentation to be used as a basis for discussion. The discussion brought forth, in the spirit of the worldwide Pride-month, the state of gender and sexuality minorities in the University community. In the end of the discussion, TREY expressed that the Student Union would like to donate three Pride flags to the University, one for each Tampere campus. The Student Union wished that the University would discuss whether it is ready to tackle the problems that were brought up in the discussion and pave way for the equality work that the Pride flags represent.
The Pride flag or the rainbow flag symbolises the human rights of gender and sexuality minorities. Pride weeks and raising the flag are ways to raise awareness about the diversity of gender and sexualities and to celebrate it. It is just as important to celebrate the progress that we have made as it is to inspect in what areas there is room for improvements. Pride is not only a symbol of celebration, it is an expression via which matters concerning gender and sexuality minorities are brought to the forefront of the discussion.
We in the Tampere University community want for everybody to have equal opportunities to be part of the community and feel safe within it. Nevertheless, it must be recognized that in the University community, and the society in general, there is a lot of work to be done for diversity.
Diversity is one of the seven values of Tampere University.
“The appreciation of diversity impacts the functionality and vitality of our work and study communities, which further affects the health and well-being of individuals. Tampere University wants to create preconditions for the involvement and commitment of all, so we can improve our community and build its success together. I wish that the University is seen as inviting for new students and staff, too, due to our values that recognize diversity”, sums principal Mari Walls.
Tampere University is committed to raising the Pride flag and the actions it requires.
”In the equality work of the University, we strive to be ever more comprehensive and promote diversity positively. It is not enough to remove unequal practices, we must embrace diversity and use it as a resource”, says the chair of Tampere University’s Equal Opportunities committee, Vice President for Research Juha Teperi.
In June’s discussions, TREY brought forth a few practical issues. These included taking the diversity of gender into account in teaching situations and gender neutral restrooms. A list of gender neutral restrooms is now available on Intra.
”Raising the flag in campuses symbolises that all members of the University community are genuinely welcome and valid. We are committed to work towards this cross-sectionally in all that we do”, says the chair of Student Union of Tampere University Annika Nevanpää.
TREY's board member in charge of equality work, Ella Meriläinen, agrees: ”It is great that we have had the chance to converse and that the University is taking strides to take diversity into account. Raising the flag by itself is a great gesture, but concrete steps that strengthen diversity are even more important.”