Last year, Exeter College was the only Turl Street college not flying the rainbow flag to mark the final day of LGBTQ history month. With our towers facing one another, Exeter’s flagpole looked embarrassingly bare in comparison to Jesus’ on 29th February 2012. Moreover, I noticed that together with Jesus and Lincoln, Balliol, Hertford, New and, of course, Wadham, all flew rainbow flags to show their support for equality and diversity in the University. I subsequently read in student newspapers that many other colleges had also flown rainbow flags on the last day of February.
Last year, the Rector was informally asked about flying the rainbow flag and we received the feeble excuse that Governing Body would not agree to it as it was ‘against College policy’.
This refusal to fly the rainbow flag came at a time when Exeter College’s reputation as an accepting, and diverse college was being compromised by the scheduled visit of the fundamentalist organisation, Christian Concern. The lack of a flag on the 29th February only exacerbated student newspaper headlines such as ‘Exeter welcomes homophobes’, and though flying the rainbow flag presented itself as a way of reversing that view, no steps were taken to redeem College’s mistake regarding this visit, until after the conference had taken place.
- Wadham College is already flying a rainbow flag, marking the whole of LGBTQ history month
- Exeter College has one of the biggest and best-funded LGBT communities in the entire University
- I am proud to be a member of a JCR/MCR that values equality and diversity and would like to see those values reflected in the actions of the College.
I therefore propose that Exeter College purchases an LGBTQ rainbow flag before the end of the month, and flies it on 28th February 2013.