LGBT+ issues

Röskva works on issues related to LGBT+ people (LGBTQIA+)
Röskva believes that preconceptions based on a dual gender system and heterosexual hegemony must be eradicated. There is a need for increased cooperation between the University of Iceland and LGBT+ campaigning groups, especially Q – Queer Student Association, whose work within the university community is of paramount importance,  with the purpose of promoting discussion on their issues. Through this Röskva would, among other things, like to promote general acceptance and awareness of the impediment transgender students at the University of Iceland face. Röskva would like to draw attention to the fact that when using a dual gendered system in research, for example, we overlook the issues and realities of non-binary people. This results in an inacurate representation of the community. Education that is tainted by a dual gender system perpetuates stereotypes and prejudice.

Röskva wants gender neutral bathrooms
The work must go on for gender neutral bathrooms, which the equality committee has been working on these last years.

Röskva wants the gender registration of students to be more varied
Röskva wants transgender and non-binary students to be taken into consideration in regards to gender registration on Ugla, cf. name change. Students should be able to register their gender regardless of the gender which is registered at Registers Iceland. The gender register should allow for more than two genders as well as offering the option of “don’t want to answer”.

Röskva wants to promote gender neutral language and the use of queer speech
Röskva wants to ensure that LGBT+ students are not excluded from the University, for example in teaching. Icelandic is a remarkably gendered language but we are very lucky to have plenty of possibilities regarding neologisms and especially queerologisms! The pronoun “hán” (gender neutral third person singular pronoun, comparable to English gender neutral pronoun “they”) has become quite commonly accepted in society but it is necessary to promote its use even more, for example in teaching and everyday speech when talking about people in general. Similarly,  statements, research, advertising etc. published by the University or by its organizations, associations, committees, and groups, need to take into consideration the diversity of LGBT+ people who do not necessarily use the masculine or feminine grammatical gender and/or pronouns (e.g. questionnaire question in Icelandic: “Ert þú ánægð/ur/t með HÍ?”,  similarly to English “Is the student satisfied with her/his/their university experience?”)
After the Icelandic national LGBT+ organisation, Samtökin ‘78, held the competition in neologism formation, many new words have appeared in the language. Röskva wants to promote similar speech at the University to support and celebrate queer visibility!

Röskva wants to empower LGBT+ associations within the University
Röskva wants to support the activities of Q – Queer Student Association and Samtökin ‘78 within the University. Röskva wants to make sure LGBT+ organizations are consulted when it comes to queer issues and interests to ensure justness in the curriculum and to protect the interests of LGBT+ people.Röskva wants the Student Rights Council to cooperate with experienced LGBT+ groups in matters that concern LGBT+ individuals so that they can be resolved in the best manner. Röskva would like to encourage those who seek the education programmes provided by Q to pay for them. Therefore, Röskva also wants to encourage the University of Iceland to establish an education fund from which each educational programme would be paid.

Röskva wants SHÍ’s students’ rights officer to be able to handle issues concerning LGBT+ students
If an issue arises, concerning an LGBT+ student, such as prejudice towards them, hate speech or any type of discrimination, SHÍ’s students’ rights officer must be able to handle them in a proper and professional way. Röskva wants to ensure that SHÍ’s students’ rights officer is ready to handle such instances by promoting resources about LGBT+ issues and making them available and clear.

Röskva wants LGBT+ people to be more visible within HÍ
Röskva wants LGBT+ people to be more visible within the University. There is a need for change when it comes to social factors and outlooks as well as systematic and institutional ones. In order to increase LGBT+ visibility and create a better environment for LGBT+ students they need to be included in classes as well as within other areas of HÍ, i.e. in study materials, assignments, advertisements for the University, etc.

Röskva wants LGBT+ education for everybody within HÍ
Röskva wants all staff and students at the University of Iceland to be well informed about the LGBT+ community. An education of this sort is easily obtainable as both Q – Queer Student Association and Samtökin ‘78 offer such work. It is necessary to bring education about LGBT+ issues into  as many departments of the University as possible in order to combat prejudice and to increase understanding and knowledge of the LGBT+ community and its diversity.

Röskva wants course material to be modern when discussing LGBT+ realities
Röskva wants to remove study materials that include outdated stereotypes and misinformation about LGBT+ people. It is necessary to thoroughly examine the course materials and make sure that there is no misinformation being taught. This is even more  important in the fields that work directly with a variety of people, especially The School of Health Sciences and Education, where misinformation can be discouraging, harmful and result in exclusion of LGBT+ people.

Röskva wants to encourage further research of LGBT+ issues
For too long LGBT+ issues have been shoved under the rug but in recent years there has been a massive increase in awareness of them. Röskva wants to encourage further research that centers around  LGBT+  experience and people in consultation with queer organisations in Iceland. Röskva would also like to see more modules devoted to these matters as there is much that remains to be analyzed.

Röskva would like to thank Q – Queer Student Association for the comments provided after our manifesto was published. We got their permission to add to our policy in accordance with their comments. We celebrate criticism as it is paramount to improving! We hope to have a good and long cooperation with Q to ensure a better environment for LGBT+ students within HÍ.