Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro and NGO LGBT Forum Progress reached an agreement on joint activities
On November 28 2016, President of the Managing Board of NGO LGBT Forum Progress held a meeting with the management of the Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro (SPUCG), led by the President of this body, Ms. Sara Arianna Serhatlic. Present at the meeting was also Mr. Marko Popovic, representative of students at the Faculty of Philosophy, against whom a complaint was filed for hate speech directed towards the LGBT community, during mid-2015.
Representatives of LGBT Forum Progress and SPUCG had a chance to talk about the deeply rooted homo/bi/transphobia in the Montenegrin education system and the consequences of hate speech, that can never come from someone who is a student representative. It was also emphasised that many LGBTIQ persons are enrolled at Montenegrin faculties, and that they need to be ensured and granted their safety, life without fear, and encouragement to reach their full potential.
Security, as a primary component, life without discrimination, penalty for crimes, and hate speech need to be recognised and enforced, in order to make sure that the University of Montenegro, as the largest Montenegrin academic institution, is truly a place that is safe for the life, work, and activities of all students, regardless of their differences, identities, and personal characteristics.
President of the Student Parliament, Ms. Sara Arianna Serhatlic said that SPUCG bears a special respect for protection of human rights of all students that she represents. She also fully supported the organisation of the first antidiscrimination panel discussions, at the Faculty of Philosophy in Niksic, to be organised by the Student Council of the Faculty of Philosophy and LGBT Forum Progress; which will be followed by a plan of activities directed towards antidiscrimination (panels, debates, and other public events) at the University of Montenegro. Start of these activities is planned for the second semester of the current academic year.
President of the Managing Board of LGBT Forum Progress, Ms. Bojana Jokic, commended the initiative of SPUCG, and declared readiness to withdraw the complaint made against Mr. Popovic, for the sake of long-term results which can be achieved by the planned activities, adding to the quality of life of LGBTIQ persons, reduction of hate crimes and hate speech, as well as reduction of the discrimination against the LGBTIQ community. By doing this, she stated, we are not just addressing the current problem, but also acting pre-emptively on all the future problems that may come before the LGBTIQ community, during their time as students. “We have to be aware”, Jokic said “that by tolerating discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes on any ground, we are enabling for homo/bi/transphobia to further develops and spreads. By doing so, we are teaching our future professors, ministers and leaders of our country the backward, fascist values, that do not belong at the largest Montenegrin educational institution”.
Montenegrin public will be timely informed about all the joint activities of the Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro and LGBT Forum Progress.
Sara Arianna Serhatlic, President of the Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro
Bojana Jokic, President of the Managing Board, LGBT Forum Progress