Celebrating Pride Month
As part of the college’s celebration of Pride month 2022, we spoke to the college’s Graduate Common Room LGBTQ+ representatives Raffy and Isabella (Izzy) to hear about the work that they do within the college community and beyond.
Firstly an introduction – who you are, what you are studying and your roles within the GCR
My name is Raffy Maristela and I’m pursuing the MSc in Comparative and International Education and will be doing the MBA next year at Oxford. Isabella Camplisson is a Graduate Entry Medic here at GTC. Together, we are the LGBTQ+ Reps in the Green Templeton College Common Room (GCR).
Could you tell us about the LGBTQ+ Reps as part of the GCR?
As LGBTQ+ Reps, we are so proud of the progress our college has made in becoming a more inclusive, representative community. This year, we have prioritised laying the foundation of community and making other college members aware of the LGBTQ+ representation across our college members. After everyone knew who each other was, we got a chance to start really growing and building that community together. We’ve hosted professional events (LGBTQ+ in Business and Medicine Panels), Social Events (Stables Bar Nights, Quiz Nights, and Pub Gatherings to name a few), and even worked with our librarians to launch our LGBTQ+ Diversity Collection. Doing all this has started to build momentum to continue and bigger events in the coming years at GTC. We aspire for people to realize GTC is an inclusive community not only after they get to college, but prior, so that they know they can find a home right when they get to Oxford.
Tell us about the LGBTQ+ community in Oxford
One of our other goals has been to connect GTC’s queer efforts with the wider university’s efforts. The university has a pretty thriving LGBTQ+ community, both through the central LGBTQ+ society and individual college’s LGBTQ+ communities. We have put in a lot of effort to connect with other college common rooms and their LGBTQ+ Reps to ensure cross-posting and open doors at any colleges’ events. Additionally, we’ve collaborated with the Oxford university LGBTQ+ society on hosting events at GTC and also getting more plugged into events happening across University, passing them along to our college members. These entry points have helped us and all of our community members become more familiar with what’s going on across campus and familiarise ourselves with friendly faces across campus.
How do you feel about life at college?
There’s a special feeling at GTC (we’re biased) that is primarily driven by the students! In the way we run into each other and just say, can have open conversations, spend quality time with one another, but also get to know each other in a more intimate way, there’s something extremely welcoming that makes GTC feel like home. I will also say we really respect and appreciate the college’s willingness to fund some of the events we’re putting together to help us foster the community, and hope there’s more growing opportunities to do that in the future! We like to think that big events are one way to drive an inclusive culture and community, but it’s the small, everyday interactions that solidify and reinforce this. Within GTC, there’s no shortage of friendly faces with an open mind that are willing to engage with and support you throughout your time here.