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University LGBTIQ+ Allies

“Allies are defined as ‘individuals who do not identify as LGBT and who believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should experience full equality in the workplace” - Stonewall 

University of St Andrews expectations of an LGBTIQ+ Ally:

To become an LGBTIQ+ Ally, please provide a paragraph of inspiring text (50 words max) demonstrating commitment to helping the University to be an inclusive place for LGBTIQ+ people to study, visit and work. For more information and joining please email:

List of Staff LGBTIQ+ Allies Members

Alastair Merrill, Vice Principal, Governance: "I’m proud to be an LGBTIQ+ Ally. I firmly believe that everyone should be free to be themselves regardless of their sexual orientation, without fear of discrimination or stigma.  It’s vitally important that our university is seen as a place where discrimination will not be tolerated, where LGBTIQ+ staff and students are openly welcomed, and where everyone is treated with respect, courtesy and dignity. I see it as being a central part of my role to champion that culture of inclusivity and equality – not just as a senior manager in the University, but as a father, partner and youth leader."  

Dr Chris Lusk, Director of Student Wellbeing Projects: "It is often commented upon that St Andrews is a “special” place – but it’s difficult to then identify what exactly makes it “special”. In my opinion the no.1 asset this place has is its solid sense of supportive community. I, and my colleagues, take pride in our defending of the individual rights for every member of our community. We love helping people thrive here, coming into their own identity, whatever that is. My choice to become an LGBTQI+ Ally is an important part of that commitment." 

Chris Lusk 

Mairi Stewart, Director of Human Resources: "I strongly believe that everyone should be free to be themselves and supported to reach their full potential without discrimination or victimisation. As an ally, I want to ensure that a strong support network is available to colleagues, regardless of their identity or sexual orientation and be another voice of support that helps make change happen."

Mairi Stewart


Sukhi Bains, Head of E&D: “Respecting people diversity is key to ensuring dignity for our local and national communities of different identities and orientations. I am committed to being an LGBTIQ+ ally to our staff, students and visitors, so that people within the University community can be proud to be who they want to be. This stems from my personal journey of being an ally to those whom I’ve studied and worked with since the 1990s."

Sukhi Bains


Ruth Woodfield, Professor of Equalities & Organisation/Assistant Vice-Principal of Diversity 

It is important that we provide a safe and secure environment for staff and students so that all can flourish in their study and work. This is not a marginal activity but is part of the core business of a university and is especially relevant where individuals and groups have a history of experiencing prejudice and discrimination, as is the case with members of the LGBTIQ+ community. We are committed to becoming a beacon of inclusion and it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure this aim is achieved. As an ally, I want to do all I can personally and professionally to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to share in the positive experiences that St Andrews can offer, and also that we all stand together to protect everyone’s right to participate fully in those experiences.

Ruth Woodfield



Further online information:

LGBTIQ+ Allies logo

 Webpage updated: 7 Jan 2019



Human Resources

University of St Andrews
Walter Bower House

St Andrews
KY16 0US
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)1334 463096