Advocacy info and education update – July 2016

Pride Week – Your Rights

Gender identity is our own sense of which gender we are. Whether we identify as masculine, feminine, neither, or a bit of both.

We all have rights around how we're treated too...

Gender Identity and Medical Care

You have the right to:

  • be treated with respect. If a doctor or other health professional makes inappropriate comments to you this may be a breach of your right. If they don’t give you privacy to change or a drape for physical examination this may also be a breach of your rights
  • receive services of an appropriate standard. The appropriate standard is determined by the medical profession generally
  • bring a support person of your choosing with you to any appointment
  • make a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner who can also provide you with a free advocate to assist with your complaint. (The Health & Disability Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights Regulation 1996).

Toilets

You have the right to:

  • use the toilet of the gender you identify with. Genderqueer and Trans* toilet rights may be a big debate in the States, but here in New Zealand that shouldn't be the case.
  • access a toilet you feel safe in at school and at work – this may include a gender neutral toilet. (Human Rights Act 1993, s42; Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992). 

Correcting your records

You have the right to:

  • have your gender and title respected. You can be required to provide proof of your identity, but you should not be asked to provide more proof than a cisgender person. If an organisation is insisting on a higher standard for you because you are transgender, you could make a complaint to the Human Rights Commission. You could also speak to Community Law about other options that might be available. An exception to your general right to correct your records is your birth certificate. More info available at VUWSA’s Advocacy Service and Community Law (Privacy Act 1993, Priniciple 7; Human Rights Act 1993, s42)

Like what you're reading, and want to know more?

For more information on Trans* and Genderqueer Rights, visit VUWSA’s Advocacy Service or your local Community Law Centre.

Information used with permission from Wellington Community Law

Class Representatives Update

Trimester 2 is nearly upon us and so is your chance to become a Class Representative!

What's a Class Rep?

  • Class Reps are an important link between students and staff, ensuring any issues are resolved quickly and easily. They are the first point of contact for students and ensure the student voice is heard at all levels of the University.
  • Another great part about being a Class Reps is the ability to gain points for VicPlus. 

How to become a Class Rep – give it a go!

  • If you'd like to be a Class Rep, make sure you attend your lectures in the first week – this is when your lecturer is likely to ask for nominations.
  • Make sure you put your hand up – take the opportunity – as it poses an awesome environment to engage with your lecturer and consult with them on anything that can be improved. 

So put your hand up, take an opportunity and become a leader. 

Got questions about becoming a Class Rep? Email src@vuwsa.org.nz