Issues related to the EUI and EUI policy:
The choice of Cigna as the go-to health insurance provider is problematic: no reimbursement for abortions, no coverage for hormonal treatments, no full coverage for expensive treatments linked to disability and chronic diseases.
There is a general lack of information on safe healthcare professionals, specifically for the queer community, included among the professionals listed by the EUI on its website, especially for queer friendly GPs, gynaecologists, and psychologists / psychiatrists.
There is a need for greater and more effective support and care in case of harassment and physical or sexual violence, including when this occurs outside the EUI.
The EUI needs to provide a safe environment which priorities the wellbeing of its community members, and in which survivors feel empowered to seek out appropriate support.
There needs to be provision of a mechanism for intervention into situations of harassment as they occur if or when requested by the person experiencing harassment: a mechanism that creates opportunity for escape from the situation, eases the transfer to a safer situation, and initiates harassment response proceedings.
There should be a committee or forum for racial, ableist, homophobic, transphobic and intersectional harassment complaints similar to the one for sexual harassment.
There needs to be regular, in-person training on harassment for all members of the EUI community, tailored to the needs of an international institute with an embedded hierarchy and with community-members coming from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.
Gender Fluidity & Transgender Inclusivity:
EUI status and its consequences on our status in Italy, regarding economic, social and civil rights:
E.g. MAE card and access to banking / tax / residency – but also civil partnerships / insurance / access to healthcare and funds or financial support
Using mission visas plus MAE for non-EU members rather than work/study visa plus support for the permesso di soggiorno process means that the years spent at the EUI don’t count for establishing and building residency in Italy/EU, which is discriminatory.
The Researchers' Union Permanent Working Group on Immigration, Gender Equality, and LGBTQIA+ needs members to help fact-find and agitate on the situation during and after the PhD at the EUI for non-EU researchers.
On Disability & Accessibility:
The EUI Disability Working Group (WG) have been advocating for a review of the EUI Disability Policy: there should be a demand for wider publication of the call for inputs, and greater transparency regarding when this review will take place.
Addressing and reversing the negative cycle in which few researchers from the disabled community apply in the first place because the application itself as well as EUI are inaccessible - and so it stays that way.
A need for better signage for disabled-friendly corridors and making more space for disability access in general, including study spaces on ground floors. Braille could be added to the signs, as well as a model of the campus map and its buildings created for blind or visually impaired community members.
A need for greater digital accessibility on EUI’s websites and library + material beyond physical spaces, such as the provision of audio software and screen-reading software.
There should be guaranteed personal assistants for research and referencing + other accommodations according to diverse accessibility needs, such as a relaxation of spurious and non-essential standards of normative institutional achievement and of institutional requirements for those with dyslexia, dyspraxia, adhd etc.
There should be a dedicated shuttle - if someone has a need, they can request to be picked up and dropped off. If temporarily disabled, then for the time someone needs it, and if not, for the period of study.
A basic medical centre on campus should be demanded, with first-aid boxes in corridors at the very minimum.
Broader issues on which we would like the EUI to be more supportive:
Family & civil rights: information and support for queer parents, including before their arrival in Italy / at the EUI.
Questions such as marriage / civil partnership in Italy
Also, more clarity communicated soon upon or before registration that for non-EU partners, you have to be married to the EUI member to get visa support, to avoid the following issue: shotgun weddings happening (for those wh can) after couples asked EUI about partner eligibility for non-married couples, and were told any partners are partners as far as EUI is concerned (ie partner card) even if unmarried, but were not told they need to be married for a visa, and then they found about the marriage requirement at the embassy and had to get married quickly, which not everyone can do.
STD/HIV testing, HPV and Monkey Pox vaccination, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) availability: information, updates, and guarantees for effective, free, and local access.
Protection and support in case of difficulties with Italian authorities.
Effective access to sexual health (condoms, birth control, etc.) and reproductive health (e.g. access to abortion or support with pregnancy or other related issues), as well as access to hormone therapy and transitioning care in Florence.
Accessibility support to disabled members of EUI community living in Florence, beyond EUI campus.