21/12/2016 03:07 GMT | Updated 22/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Why The NUS Is Proud To Elect A Full-Time Trans Officer

Marc Bruxelle via Getty Images

Last week NUS made the historic decision to introduce a full time trans officer.

That makes us the first organisation in Europe with a full time elected officer who will be dedicated to defending and lobbying for trans rights.

December 14, 2016 will go down as a momentous day in NUS history - the day trans students finally got what they'd been campaigning for year after year.

The journey to this decision began years ago and it has taken much campaigning and lobbying on the part of trans students and leaders to get the campaign to this point.

Last week showed the student movement at its best and it truly is something to be proud of.

We understand that having a trans officer isn't the end of the fight for the liberation of trans students.

Having this dedicated officer doesn't mean that trans people now have equal rights, access to education or access to the vital health services many of them desperately need.

In fact, we need a full time trans officer because of the specific problems faced by trans students and we believe a full time officer would have the capacity to challenge these.

With the government's austerity measures, vital services for trans students are being cut and there's certainly no progress where there needs to be.

For instance, there are trans students in Wales who have to travel hundreds of miles to their nearest Gender Identity Clinic.

We're sure our first trans officer, elected this coming March, will be fighting for things like the introduction of a gender identity clinic in Wales, and we'll be sure to support them every step of the way.

Our movement has finally given trans students what they want and deserve but most importantly what they desperately need.

I honestly can't wait to see what the trans campaign achieves with its own resources and a dedicated officer.

This decision has reaffirmed my faith in our movement and its commitment to liberation, this isn't the end, but for now here at NUS we'll be celebrating this long-sought win.

Melantha Chittenden is LGBT+ Officer (Women's Place) for the National Union of Students