Corpus has a diverse and committed Equal Opportunities Committee who work together to ensure marginalised groups feel safe, secure and accepted at Corpus. There are seven reps who are elected every year – the Women’s Rep, the LGBTQ+ Rep, the BME Rep, the Disabilities Rep, the Access Rep, the Mental Health Rep and the Class Rep – who are headed by the Equal Opportunities President. Together, the committee organise events to cultivate and nourish our diverse community, support students affected by discrimination, and drafts plans to make Corpus a more equal place. The Equal Opportunities Committee are also responsible for running Unity Week in Trinity term. Unity Week is a celebration honouring Corpus’ diversity and the great strength, tenacity and dedication demonstrated by groups who have historically faced impediments to their success and, unfortunately, continue to do so. In this way, Unity Week also strives to recognise the difficulties still present in society and in Oxford so we can work together to eradicate these unjust hindrances.
Corpus is proud to have a thriving LGBTQ+ community. Our JCR – nicknamed the Gay-CR – displays a great variety of pride flags to highlight and honour sexual and gender diversity, especially those sexualities and genders that are too often ignored. Our commitment to LGBTQ+ rights goes beyond the mere arrangement of flags, though. We often organise LGBTQ+ social events, as well as participating in university-wide events. Outside of socialising, we recognise and appreciate the intersectionality between mental health issues and being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, so we have special Rainbow Peer Supporters who are trained to listen to and help queer or questioning students who are struggling.
At Corpus, we strive to celebrate and support our wonderfully diverse BME community. We appreciate that Oxford has historically been closed off to students of colour, so not only do we aim to eradicate lingering structural and societal impediments, but we also honour and recognise the achievements that have led to our BME students being here today as proud Corpuscles. We celebrate these students with events like BME formals, and we aim to illuminate the struggles faced by the community by inviting reputable BME speakers to speak about issues they have faced. We also appreciate that incoming freshers of colour may feel trepidation surrounding the prospect of entering a community that has historically been predominantly white, so we have a BME parenting scheme (similar to the college parenting scheme) to let BME freshers connect with current students from a similar background as them.
Corpus is proud to celebrate women’s achievements and aims to highlight the misogyny still prevalent today. We recognise the importance of having a community of women supporting and looking out for each other, so we run social events to cultivate that community, such as women’s drinks and women’s movie nights. As well as that, we run a Corpus feminist society to allow students to discuss important issues concerning women’s rights, including issues of intersectionality such as the unique struggles faced by trans women or women of colour.
Meet the reps!