Apology for "distress" caused by LGBTQ+ survey

Elsa Tarring on the University's response to the controversial LGBTQ+ survey

Elsa Tarring
28th July 2020
Image: Lucy Backhurst on LinkedIn
Newcastle University students have received an email from the Academic Registrar apologising for the "offensive" and "insulting" LGBTQ+ survey distributed more than a week earlier.

Lucy Backhurst, Newcastle University’s Academic Registrar (pictured), informed students that the survey was “innapropriate” and “should never have been circulated”.

The survey was created by PhD student Laura Alonso Martínez and was issued to all students via the University. It was designed to compare Spanish and English views about the LGBTQ+ community. 

It asked participants to rank how far they agreed with statements about the LGBTQ+ community. These included “homosexuality is a sin” and “transgender people should not be allowed to teach in schools”.

The University quickly closed the survey down following complaints from students. 

In her follow up email, Backhurst stated that she “had not – nor would have – given permission for this survey to be sent out”. She explained that there is a “serious problem with [their] approval process”.

A spokesperson for the University has told the Courier that “as soon as the university was made aware of it, [they] asked for it to be removed”. They have also stated that changes have been made “to ensure the same thing won’t happen again”.

Featured Image: Lucy Backhurst on LinkedIn

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