University changes safety rules after “tragic” cyanide death of transgender researcher

first_imgSpeaking at the inquest, Detective Parsons added: “She had struggled with her gender identity for most of her life. She was doing well and showing no signs of unhappiness.”She had changed her name and was taking speech therapy to adopt a new identity.Tributes have also been paid to Miss Shepherd by those who knew her. Speaking to Cherwell, one of Shepherd’s housemates said that during the two and a half years he knew her, “she became Erin Shepherd”.The housemate explained that there “was no reaction at all” from Shepherd’s flatmates to her transition, and said “she was a very, very good tenant”. He said he had seen a suicide note sent by Shepherd in an email, and described his housemate as “quiet, sharp and switched on”.Police were called to Miss Shepherd’s home on Magdalen Road in East Oxford by her sister after she received the email, entitled “I am so sorry”.The court heard that she phoned her sister to urge her to flush the cyanide down the toilet, but was unable to change her mind.On the day of Erin’s death in January, there was reportedly “havoc” on Magdalen Road, with the emergency services closing the area off to the public.Her housemate said that he believed that Shepherd was “winding down” before ending her life, after she disposed of her collection of Olympic coins, in which she had a keen interest.Darren Salter, Oxfordshire Coroner, described her suicide as a “tragic case’” at the inquest, adding: “This was a great shock. Those closest to her did not foresee this.“Things seemed to be going in the right direction. Very sadly, something caused her to decide to take her own life.” “Our thoughts are with Erin Shepherd’s friends and family during this difficult time. The OU LGBTQ+ society provides support to those who need it.”Tara Stone, Managing Director of Be Trans Support and Development Network North, told Cherwell that despite progress in the past five years, “there is still a long way to go” to deal with issues of transgender suicide.She pointed to a 2012 report by the Scottish Trans-Gender Alliance, which found that 84 per cent of transgender adults thought about ending their lives, while 35 per cent had attempted suicide and 25 per cent had attempted it more than once.Stone said it is “really important for higher education institutions to ensure policies are up to date” and that they are “working with trans-students and academics.”She called for a “whole organisation approach, recognising that all people have a responsibility” to create a welcoming environment for transgender people.OUSU VP for Women and Equality, Orla White, said: “We extend our sincerest sympathies to Erin’s loved ones, to her colleagues and to everyone who might be affected by this news.“If anyone is in need of support, we recommend contacting Switchboard (0300 330 0630) to discuss LGBTQ issues, or the Samaritans (116 123) to talk about depression and suicide.“We know that trans women are often failed by mental health services, which is only compounded by day-to-day experiences of transmisogyny.“In light of this tragedy, OUSU would like to reaffirm our commitment to fighting for the dignity and rights of trans people.” An “outstanding” Oxford University researcher poisoned herself with cyanide after telling friends and family she was transgender, an inquest heard on Wednesday.Despite apparently being happy with her transition from a man to a woman, Oxford Coroner’s Court heard that firemen forced their way into Erin Shepherd’s flat on 20 January to discover the 27-year-old near a container of white powder, now known to contain cyanide.She had recently started as a paid academic in the University’s Chemistry Department, and completed her DPhil in Chemistry at Corpus Christi College.Detective Sergeant Kevin Parsons said Shepherd had likely obtained the cyanide after accessing the University labs at 6am two hours before she died. University regulations allow access to potentially hazardous chemicals for scientists with formal training.Cherwell understands that the University’s Chemistry Department has since reviewed its procedures for hazardous materials. A University spokesperson said the Department is “currently introducing some modifications to an already robust process”.He added: “All scientists are trained thoroughly in the use of hazardous materials and the Department has re-emphasised this to all chemists. As well as this review, all three sections of the Department of Chemistry meet termly to consider and review safety matters. The Department’s Management Board also holds a termly meeting dedicated to safety matters, at which there is an opportunity to review safety procedures when necessary.“We would also stress that Erin’s actions presented no risk to the public at large. The University’s deepest sympathies are with her friends, family and colleagues over her tragic death.” Salter also read evidence from Shepherd’s doctor, Richard Baskerville, who said that she registered with him in 2015.“She had recently come out as transgender. She had an extensive circle of friends and was pleased with her progress in transitioning. Her death was a sudden and tragic event.”Salter concluded Shepherd died of suicide.Professor Mark Brouard, Head of the Chemistry Department, and Professor Steve Cowley, President of Corpus Christi, released a joint statement in February. They paid homage to the “outstanding” work of Miss Shepherd, who had a “highly promising career” in academia.She was awarded a Lilly Prize by the Department of Organic Chemistry in 2012, which is awarded to a select number of graduate chemists for their performance in the first year of their DPhil.Shepherd’s death has raised concerns over the policies in place to prevent transgender suicide in higher education.In a statement to Cherwell, Jennifer Sheppard, the Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society Transgender Rep, highlighted the prevalence of mental health issues in the transgender community at Oxford University.“We were incredibly saddened to hear of the suicide of a student and researcher at Oxford,” she said. “Transgender people are at an increased risk of mental health problems and suicide due to the lack of support networks available and the possibly unsafe surroundings they often find themselves in.“A welfare report recently published by OUSU has stated that LGBTQ+ students were significantly more likely to feel overwhelmed by their time at the University and that 83 per cent of trans students said that the University of Oxford had had a negative effect on their mental health. Sadly, in the wider context of increasing deaths of transgender people, this tragedy is not out of place. If you have been affected by this story, you may find these resources useful:Counselling Service – https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/counselling – 01865 270300 – [email protected] – http://oxfordnightline.org – 8pm to 8am in term time at 01865 270 270, or also online on skype and instant messengerThe Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org – 116123 or 01865 722122Get in touch with your welfare team and peer supporters if you would like more resources.last_img read more

Cesc Fabregas sends class message to axed Arsenal talent spotter Francis Cagigao

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Cesc Fabregas sends class message to axed Arsenal talent spotter Francis Cagigao Cesc Fabregas broke into the Arsenal first team at a 17-year-old back in 2004 (Picture: Getty)‘Nothing would have been the same for me if you didn’t spot me at 15 years old, like so many others. I wish you all the very best for the future, your next team will be very very lucky to have your amazing football brain at their disposal.’Arsenal have also dispensed with the services of senior scouts Brian McDermott and Peter Clark, while Ty Gooden, who according to Goal played a major role in identifying William Saliba, has been dismissed. The FA Cup holders announced earlier this week that 55 club staff would be made redundant as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, but the changes to their scouting department are not linked. More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalDespite the financial strain being placed upon the club, Arsenal are determined to press ahead with their plans to bolster Mikel Arteta’s squad this summer. Willian is on the verge of joining on a free transfer from Chelsea, while talks are underway with Barcelona with the Gunners looking to strike a deal for Philippe Coutinho. Another Brazilian, Lille central defender Gabriel, is a top target while Arsenal are said to be increasingly confident that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will sign a new contract. MORE: Former Arsenal and Man Utd star Robin van Persie returns to Feyenoord as a coach: ‘I can’t say no to Dick’MORE: Barcelona the only threat to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signing new Arsenal dealFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Metro Sport ReporterFriday 7 Aug 2020 11:48 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link389Shares Francis Cagigao was responsible for spotting the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Gabriel Martinelli (Picture: Instagram)Cesc Fabregas has paid a class tribute to Arsenal’s long-serving talent spotter Francis Cagigao who was axed earlier this week as part of the north London club’s dramatic shake up of their scouting network. The Spaniard played an instrumental role in bringing his compatriot to Arsenal as an unheralded teenager from Barcelona. Fabregas went on to establish himself as one of the finest midfield players in the club’s history before his subsequent return to Catalonia in the summer of 2011. Cagigao was also credited with playing a major role in unearthing the likes of Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli, but has been deemed surplus to requirements by Edu after the club’s technical director undertook a sweeping review of the club.AdvertisementAdvertisementFabregas believes he owes much of his success to Cagigao and believes his future employers will benefit hugely from his talent and widom.ADVERTISEMENTHe wrote on Instagram: ‘Thank you for the 24+ years of devotion, respect, dedication and love you gave to Arsenal.  Advertisementlast_img read more

Danz Catz take second place in national competition

first_imgBrookville, In. — The Franklin County High School Dancz Catz earned second place at a national competition at Northern Kentucky University recently for their Pom, Open and Kick routines.The team is made up of captain Ashlin Sacksteder, co-captain Sarah Wewe, co-captain Gracie Graf, Kendra Hunter, Emma Metcalf, Brylee Pace, Allie Routh, Jaylee Cregar, Brianna Meyers, McKenna Metz, Chloe Cowen, Regan Barker, Halee Barker and Macie Fohl. The coaches of the team are Erin Bath, Alex Kirkindall and Kamryn Schell.last_img read more