Student Update

BCN Cover

This originally appeared in BCN issue 78, April 2006

Congratulations to Bethan Griffiths who follows on from Shaz Stacey as the bisexual officer of the NUS national women’s campaign for the next twelve months.

Bethan was interviewed in BCN a few issues ago through her previous role as the bisexual women’s officer of the NUS LGBT campaign (a subtly different position that sounds very similar to outsiders!) so at this point we shall hand the Student Update column over to her:

Life as The Most Important UK Student Bisexual has its ups & downs writes Bethan. There’s the committee meetings and the report writing, but on the upside, there is doing outreach and support either one-to-one or by providing bi awareness workshops. I ran a workshop on bisexuality for Nottingham University’s LGBT awareness week. We had a great attendance, with a mix of bi, gay, and straight people, and after the “getting to know you” games we moved straight to discussing everyone’s perceptions of bisexuality and popular myths about bisexuals. Then, embracing the power of the post-it note stuck to the back, we played “Which famous bisexual am I?” and split up into groups depending on whether we were Skunk Anansie, Tom Robinson, Simon Hughes, or Alexander the Great.

Each group got an envelope with a common scenario:
– Making a freshers’ stall bi-friendly;
– Confronting biphobic views in student unions;
– Changing biphobic LGBTs; and
– Creating a campaign to raise awareness of issues facing bisexuals.

All the groups got a couple of sheets of flipchart, and went ahead with dealing with the problems. The responses were all fantastic. From the freshers’ stall full of ideas for bi inclusive leaflets and bi magazines, replete with 4 people running it each with unique hairstyles; to flipcharts covered with complex spider diagrams for ideas to deal with biphobic students; to fully designed poster for a bisexual awareness campaign, complete with pictures and jokes. Everyone’s ideas were absolutely fantastic, and we all had a great time. (Any chance we can have the poster as a downloadable resource on the BCN website? – Ed)

All this was rounded off with a pleasant pint in the student bar. Even the prat who heckled us for being gay couldn’t put a damper on the evening, especially as he received a quick response with half a dozen people turning on him and yelling “No, BISEXUAL!”

I’m looking forward to carrying on my work in the coming year with what is a broadly similar position on Women’s Committee to the work I have been doing through NUS LGBT Committee in 2005/6, kicking off with a bi students day in Birmingham on April 26th. Email [email protected] for more

And no student update column could be complete without a reminder of the
Bis-In-NUS email group: