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October 8, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Hardship Fund is LGBTQIA+ Inclusive

Victoria University has updated its Hardship Fund services to include “costs associated with sexuality and gender identity for LGBTQIA+ students”.
The change surfaced shortly after the mid-year break. “We are improving information available for LBGTQIA+ students in 2019,” said Pam Thorburn, Director of Student Academic Services.
These costs can include a range of financial challenges, including assistance with legally changing your name or getting the correct name on legal documents such as a birth certificate or passport.
Victoria had 21,466 students as of September 2018, and of those, 176 either identified as gender diverse, or elected not to provide gender based information.
“There are particular challenges experienced by LGBTQIA+ students that are broader than just assistance with changing a name, and we want to enable students to have access to the Hardship Fund where applicable and appropriate,” said Thorburn.
A UniQ spokesperson said “queer and transgender people face high levels of discrimination, which can impact living situations, employment, safety, and mental health. For queer and trans students, these stresses can have a domino effect on studies and tertiary success”.
The most recent Youth2000 survey results, from 8,166 secondary school students, found that gay or bi youth in New Zealand are 3 times more likely to be hurt or bullied at school at least weekly. Transgender identified participants were 4.5 times more likely to report weekly bullying compared to their non-transgender peers.
The UniQ spokesperson said that this move is a “small but important step” for Victoria becoming an “inclusive institution”.

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:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this