The SETU Waterford LGBT+ Staff Network Vision Statement: We want SETU Waterford to be a safe environment where the LGBT+ community are visible, proud, included, and pro-actively working towards positive change.
The SETU Waterford LGBT+ Staff Network Mission Statement: The LGBT+ Staff Network is a welcoming, inclusive and a proud change-driven community. Staff members and postgraduate students who identify as LGBT+, together with our allies, will work to inspire SETU Waterford to embrace diversity and create an environment where everyone feels safe and equally valued.
The SETU Waterford LGBT+ Staff Network will operate from the following Guiding Principles, Ethos and Values:
Siobhán Flynn-Fogarty (she/her)
When I think of pride, I think of being happy, happy in and with myself, standing beside those I am proud of, showing others who I am and being accepted, congratulated, loved, not judged. I associate it with feeling connected, supported and having a strong sense of self-worth. Being part of this LGBT+ network for me means demonstrating in some way that this is a working and learning environment that embraces and supports difference, that we have a space where people have a sense of belonging and feel free to express and be proud of their identity.
Dr Cordula Weiss (she/her)
To me, having a LGBT+ Staff Network at SETU Waterford shows that the institute welcomes and embraces diversity. It provides a feeling of safety and security to all staff and, very importantly, provides a point of contact where concerns, fears and issues can be voiced and addressed and, most importantly, will be taken seriously. Being able to express ones worries and share experiences - good or bad - in confidentiality are key to a happy work place and I believe that we can contribute immensely to all the SETU Waterford community with the LGBT+ network.
Dr Cara Daly (she/her)
Pride in our LGBT+ identities is a powerful force for good. I am a lucky LGBT+ person who has always had unwavering support and love from family and friends. Over time, that has made me more resilient, better able to reach my potential, and ultimately, a very happy person. However LGBT+ phobia (in all its forms) is still a problem in Ireland. The national conversation Ireland had in advance of the marriage equality referendum showed us that LGBT+ visibility combined with respectful discussion is the key to understanding issues effecting LGBT+ lives. I want my colleagues and students to know they have support here in SETU Waterford should they need it.
Elaine Larkin (she/her)
Feeling comfortable about turning up to work, or indeed life, every day as your authentic self is a huge privilege many people don’t even realise they have. My hope is that our LGBT+ Staff Network – through the actions of allies as well as the camaraderie of colleagues – will instil the sense this is a workplace where it’s ok to be yourself. In addition to encouraging a culture of visibility and openness (while supporting colleagues for whom discretion is vital), there is also a fantastic opportunity for the network to have a ripple effect by being there for colleagues seeking advice around LGBT+ family members or students.
Dr Rosanne Birney (she/her)
To me, Pride is an important opportunity to raise awareness about inequalities that still exist in the world for LGBT+ people. In 2015, Ireland became one of only 30 countries worldwide to legalise same-sex marriage. Over twice as many countries (71, to be exact) still criminalise same-sex acts. Even here in Ireland, LGBT+ people continue to face discrimination in many ways. Pride is a chance to show those facing prejudice that they’re not alone - we stand together to continue the good fight!
Thomas Curran (he/him)
The idea of having pride shows that you value yourself. Within the LGBT+ community pride celebrations act as a point in time where we can showcase the value we have and feel in ourselves and is a time of inclusivity and connectedness. Through the establishment of the LGBT+ Staff Network, something which I am delighted to be a part of, we have created a safe space that promotes and encourages self-affirmation while also providing a platform for the WIT/SETU LGBT+ community to have a voice and be visible.
Dr Helen Murphy, Head, School of Education and Lifelong Learning
How I hope WIT/SETU will benefit from having an LGBT+ Staff Network?
Supporting a culture that is open and inclusive reflects our values in SETU Waterford and I believe supporting the new LGBT+ staff network will help embed the importance of these values as we transition into the South East Technological University. How we support each other, our colleagues and our students will define the type of University we will be, the vales we stand for and how we respect all members of our community.
Dr Allison Kenneally, Vice President - Equality Diversity & Inclusion.
I am truly delighted to see this network launch at SETU Waterford and am proud to be an LGBT+ ally.
LGBT+ rights, which were so long denied in this country, must never be taken for granted and must be actively supported by all. We must collectively ensure that LGBT+ members of our community at SETU Waterford feel supported and empowered to bring their real-selves to work. Together we must challenge homophobia, bi-phobia and transphobia wherever we see it, to work ensure that SETU Waterford is an inclusive, welcoming and respectful place to work and study for all.”
Dr Mark White, Vice President – Research
I am honoured to support the LGBT + Staff Network in SETU Waterford because working and studying in positive environments that are safe, secure and welcoming is a fundamental right for all. Waterford IT and the new SETU should be a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging. There is outstanding evidence demonstrating that an affirming university climate leads to improved academic, and mental health outcomes for students and for staff. Having an active LGBT + Staff network is a foundational step to creating an affirming university climate. For me personally, learning more about LGBT+ rights and Pride is no different than my journey learning about equal pay rights and gender equity and racial inequality. In fact they are all intertwined and the learning, for me, cannot be picked apart. I am so looking forward to having a SETU Waterford and SETU LGBT+ staff network where we can learn together and be united in providing an inclusive and supportive environment for our staff that will no doubt permeate to our students and beyond.
Fr David Keating – SETU Waterford Chaplain
For the new LGBT+ Staff Network, I hope three things:
First, every staff member finds S E T U a welcoming place to work, a place of respect, trust and sensitivity.
Second, among colleagues every staff member feels valued and in collaboration with others can prosper.
Third, our families, friends and wider communities know SETU to be a genuine place of honour, equality and opportunity.
An authentic network connects and inspires trust.
We do not work in isolation.
We need others.
Under the shelter of each other we flourish.