Monday, December 19, 2005

UNC GLBT-SA and the UNC-Chapel Hill non-discrimination policy

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I don't know how I missed this letter to the editor back on November 18th; I constantly read the Daily Tar Heel Online. I guess it jsut escaped me... but I think it is important to read and know about.
GLBT-SA petitions to extend the nondiscrimination policy The Daily Tar Heel, November 18, 2005 TO THE EDITOR: UNC should affirm a policy of nondiscrimination of gender identity and gender expression for both symbolic and practical reasons. Enacting an official policy change to foster a safe environment for transgender students, faculty and staff not only benefits the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally community, but the entire population, as the constructed division between “men” and “women” hurts anyone not conforming to respective masculine and feminine traits. In practical terms, a change would mean the ability for queer and straight students to choose campus housing that is LGBTQ-friendly and for students not to be assigned to housing based on gender. By relabeling single-stall restrooms in campus buildings to gender-neutral terms, transgender students would have access to safe bathroom facilities, free from harassment or embarrassment. Furthermore, LGBTQ students pay the same student fees and tuition as everyone else yet are shut out of student health care services that might not be relevant to their individual health care needs. Expanding our nondiscrimination policy, a measure already taken by dozens of schools such as the University of California, Cornell and our neighbor, N.C. State, would be the first step in recognizing that the gender binary is problematic for many. Stop by the Pit from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. today to sign the GLBT-SA’s petition to make our nondiscrimination policy friendlier to all, because what’s between our legs should not restrict access to basic dignity and equal treatment on a university campus. Tommy Rimbach Co-chairman GLBT-SA
I don't know how GLBT-SA's petition drive went and I don't know if they are succeeding in getting gender identity and expression added to the UNC-Chapel Hill non-discrimination policy or not, but I'll search on that and see about it. UNCG does not include gender identity or expression in our non-discrimination policy either, although the Student Government Association does include it in their constitutional non-discrimination statement:
Article IV. Membership & Eligibility to Vote All students of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro are ipso facto members of this organization. The Student Government Association is open to all students who wish to participate regardless of age, race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity and expression, disability, socioeconomic status, or creed. All students shall be eligible to vote in Student Government Association elections and referendums. (source)
I sometimes wish that UNCG PRIDE! could be a little bit more of an advocacy organization for LGBTQA students... Lord knows, I'm trying to push it in that direction while I'm ont he Executive Board. Hopefully, UNCG PRIDE! can start getting back into some of the more advocacy activities like we used to in the past. Come to think of it... that is how we started back in 1974: a political/advocacy/liberation organization. Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,