The York Union “completely rejects” allegations, including of transphobia, reported in the latest edition of the campus newspaper York Vision.
The independent student-run society took to Facebook today to deny allegations expressed in the newspaper in an interview with a transgender student that it “doesn’t care about debate and cares specifically about upsetting and making trans students miserable.”
The York Vision online article writes that the society “says it will be releasing a statement shortly.” However, writing on social media, The York Union contends that it was not consulted by York Vision prior to the article going to press.
The society stated on Facebook at 11:20 today:
Our events are open to all students and members of the public. The freedom which allowed two trans* students at the campus free speech debate (February 23) to deliver their views on the York Union, life on campus and the issue at hand is the very same with which we extend to all members of our audience.
We are committed to free expression and open debate for all. The York Union is a politically neutral, student-run organisation. We actively encourage everyone – especially those who disagree with any of our speakers – to come and challenge the views they hear by asking questions. Time will always be set aside for the audience’s opinions to be heard.
The York Union added that it does not support any form of online harassment, regardless of the target and the identity of those who are responsible for it.
In an article concerning aggressive and abusive attitudes towards transgender students on campus, York Vision interviewed Ashley Reed, the current Women’s Network trans*-convenor and newly-elected 2016/2017 LGBTQ Officer, who remarked that transphobia is on the rise at the University of York.
Established in 2013, The York Union is an independent organisation dedicated to providing discussions and debate for the benefit of York’s community. It is opposed to a no-platform policy. The York Union’s website can be found here.