On 15 October, the University of St Andrews’ Joint Councils amended the Motion to Further Address Hate Crimes in St Andrews under the encouragement of Shaina Sullivan, the Director of Student Development and Activities.
When asked why the Joint Councils felt the need to revisit the original motion, Ms Sullivan told The Saint, “Following discussions with the current LGBT+ Officer, Societies Officer, Director of Wellbeing, Director of Education, Societies Committee, and Equal Opportunities Subcommittee, the relevant officers agreed with the motion’s premise but felt that it could be better implemented if some [of] its proposed actions were modified.”
The main areas of concern that sought to be addressed included apparent procedural issues that were negatively affecting the motion’s implementation and the unrealistic amount of monitoring that was expected of a student volunteer to ensure all clubs and societies included the following statement in their event descriptions, “Our event is a fully inclusive space and follows the Students’ Association’s zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory and hateful speech and actions.”
Another area of concern was the collective belief that students should be made to hold the responsibility and liability of disciplinary referrals and follow-up signposting.
The original motion was proposed by the 2018-2019 Association LGBT+ Officer Zelda Tobias-Kotyk and was passed on 19 February 2019. Through the motion, Ms Tobias-Kotyk aimed “to address issues occurring in town…including some [incidents] that had occurred in the Union building and society events.” She had detailed these issues as “some unidentified people, apparently not students [of the University] spitting at a student in drag, unfriendly comments in LGBT+ events, defacing of posters, offensive stickers seen on lampposts in town, and comments made online.”
The updated motion, J. 19-XX Motion to Further Address Hate Crimes and Incidents in St Andrews, was passed with support from the Association President, the Association LGBT+ Officer, the SSC Societies Officer, the Director of Education, the Director of Wellbeing, the SSC Societies Committee and the Equal Opportunities Subcommittee.
For further information regarding hate crimes and how to report incidents please refer to the following link: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/hr/edi/equalityact/hatecrime/