Over the summer, the LGBT+ Staff Network has been working on re-strategising our efforts to increase awareness of the Network, and to better reflect the diverse identities which we are keen to celebrate and support across campus and beyond. This has included the addition of some new objectives for the Network.
These new objectives are: to increase membership of the Network, encourage allyship initiatives across campus, install a robust steering group structure to oversee the day to day running of the Network, and to build a fundraising model for the Network to expand our support and outreach initiatives both on campus and in the local community in Reading.
The idea of a rebrand was considered to mark a new era of the Network for LGBTQIA+ Staff at the University of Reading characterised by proactive support, strong and cohesive LGBTQIA+ communities, an increase in presence both on and off campus, new volunteering opportunities and the development of a robust fundraising model for the Network. Additionally, we wanted to ensure Postgraduate students, and sessional, part-time, and casual staff are supported and represented within our initiatives.
After liaising with the existing LGBTQIA+ Action Plan Group (APG) on the idea of rebranding the Network, the idea was overwhelmingly supported. We consulted the LGBTQIA+ APG on preferred new names for the network, with the majority vote indicating that our APG was keen on the rebrand featuring the renaming of the network to the University of Reading ‘LGBTQIA+ Staff Network’.
With direction from our APG, the existing Staff Network Team consisting of Co-Chairs Ruvi Ziegler and Tahlia-Rose Virdee, Lead Ally, Michael Kilmister and Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Allán Laville worked together with the Creative and Print Services on campus to produce a new logo, email banner, events banner and merchandise for the newly minted LGBTQIA+ Staff Network. The new logo and merchandise is inclusive of the Progress Flag with the Intersex symbol to ensure that we are representing the diversity which comprises our campus and community.
The branded merchandise we have ordered was informed by suggestions from the wider LGBTQIA+ APG, including aluminium enamel pin badges and Network postcards, which detail how to contact us and feature the words ‘LGBTQIA+ Champion’ for those who would like to advertise their support for the Network across campus. We shall be looking into further merchandising options next academic year based on the suggestions of the LGBTQIA+ APG.
We shall be showing off our new branding at Reading Pride on Saturday 2nd September 2023, where there will be a face painter and glitter technicians at our stall to brighten your day further. Come and say hi!
Please see our new Logo and email banner, which you are all free to use to promote the Network, show your support, and demonstrate your commitment to the LGBTQIA+ communities at the University of Reading:
The LGBTQIA+ Staff network would like to express special thanks to all who have been part of this rebranding project! Firstly to the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Allán Laville, who has supported the rebranding and the revamping of the Network no end. Secondly, to Hannah Tollett and the CPS Team at the University of Reading for translating our design ideas into sleek visuals. Thirdly, to our wider LGBTQIA+ APG who provide constructive and creative feedback which is of the upmost value to our Network. Finally, to the Diversity and Inclusion Team at the University of Reading, including Ceara Webster and Sinead O’Flynn who support our day to day running! We salute you all.
There are exciting things to come over the next academic year, and we shall update you frequently on our progress. To track our progress please follow us:
Twitter/ X: @UniRDG_LGBTPlus
To join our LGBTQIA+ Staff Network on Teams, please send us an email: lgbtplus@Reading.ac.uk
All the best,
The University of Reading LGBTQIA+ Staff Network Team