10 February 2010

Nondiscrimination Policy

I can not believe it, and it is so amazingly spectacular. The Purdue Student Government Senate has unanimously (yes, a 20-0 vote) approved a resolution urging Purdue University to amend its Nondiscrimination Policy to included Gender Identity and Expression, Genetic Information, and Political Affiliation.

I thought the vote would be close and we might even lose, but no, it was unanimous and we won! This is fabulous, and while I could go on and on about why, it really comes down to inclusion. Purdue Student Government just sent a message, which is going to get media attention, that Purdue University needs to be more inclusive.

I have no idea what is still to come. This issue is ultimately going to go to the Board of Trustees, and this unanimous vote is going to appear before them (and hopefully help this pass!). I know that each step will be harder, but this was a huge hurdle that was just jumped, and it is really energizing after seeing so much defeat in meetings. I truly have to commend Jessica Rombach. Her campaigning has been brilliant and she has no idea how much she has helped people.

Purdue University will hopefully join the rest of the Big Ten, and the overwhelming majority of the other high ranked universities, in including Gender Identity and Expression to the Nondiscrimination Policy.

Notes on the vote: The resolution came up, and a few senators spoke (nobody in opposition). There were a lot of spectators for a PSG meeting (and that did not go unnoticed). The vote was unanimous, and a huge applause followed. I teared up (had my tears of happiness a little later), and several other people did cry (and were very touched).

I don't know if people know how much these few words mean to people. How much it means to some of my friends that Gender Identity and Expression may be added. How much safer they will feel. I feel safer just with the knowledge that there was support for an addition that affects a lot of other members of the Queer community. This is also a huge retention and recruitment issue. The people who know to look do, and this will really help.

I will start another post tracking this issue as it develops.

(Sorry this is discombobulated, and that it really only talks about Gender Identity and Expression. I am SO excited that I just needed to get something down. I know we still have a long way to go, but I was not expecting to see this step so soon).

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