24 March 2010

PSG Elections, #2

I want to say now that I am rather impressed with both presidential candidates after hearing both of their platforms on LGBTQ issues. Next year could be a really good year for the LGBTQ community in Purdue Student Government. I look forward to working with whoever is elected, and feel that great progress can be made.

23 March 2010

Upcoming PSG Elections

Purdue Student Government elections are soon, and I thought I would make a quick statement (a more in depth one may or may not come later depending on if I feel it is needed).

At the moment, there are two people who have really shown support for the LGBTQ community and the development of Purdue as a whole. I thus I feel I should recognize these individuals.

I will be supporting Baldwin/VanBogaert for the President and Vice President. Eddie Van Bogaert was one of the Co-Sponsors of the unanimous PSG resolution to urge Purdue to add Gender Identity and Expression, Genetic Information, and Political Affiliation to its Nondiscrimination Policy. Considering this currently my main focus in activism, it is HUGE. These revisions mean more than a lot of people can imagine. Empowering Transgender people on campus and helping to recruit and retain Transpeople is vital to Purdue's sustainability and continuing to be a leading university. It is truly sad that Purdue does not already include Gender Identity and Expression (really an embarrassment, we are after all the only Big Ten without it). Any candidate this supportive of transpeople and the LGBTQ community almost certainly have a lot to offer all students. You can learn more about the Baldwin/VanBogaert campaign at http://betterwithbaldwin.com/ . In order to better empower their ability to enact change, I will be supporting their supporters.

I will be supporting Nick DeBoer for the Liberal Arts Senator. While I can't vote in the College of Liberal Arts race, I will still encourage people to vote for Nick DeBoer. Yet again, Gender Identity and Expression play a huge part into this, because as I have already stated it is a BIG DEAL. He even attended the PSG meeting in which is was being deliberated, live-tweeting the vote! You can find out more about his campaign at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=104068222959357&ref=ts .

Remember elections are March 30th through Thursday, April 1st on GetInvolved ( www.getinvolved.purdue.edu ). Please consider voting.

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Disclaimer: I want to make a disclaimer that my opinions on the election may or may not represent the views of anybody/anything/etc other than myself. In particular, the Queer Student Union has a staunch position of remaining neutral in all elections, and the Voter's Guide produced by QSU will be neutral regardless of the position of any of the Queer Student Union.
This statement of support is strictly personal and a means of reaching out to other voters on my own time with my own resources.
I also look forward to working with whoever is elected, and hope supporting certain candidates will be viewed as a personal issue not to be involved with the work that must get done to improve Purdue for everybody.

02 March 2010

Exponent Covers PGSG Resolution

Yet again the front page of the Exponent has seen the Nondiscrimination Policy resolution and its passage. The article can be found here. They messed up on my class (I am a sophomore, not a junior), but other than that it is a fantastic article.

There was little reaction on the opinions page to the Purdue Student Government resolution, so I doubt that the Purdue Graduate Student Government resolution will garner much more, but I will certainly keep my eye open and everybody updated!

EDIT: The Exponent corrected the mistake in my class. I would like to thank Purdue Exponent for the correction.

01 March 2010

PGSG Approves Nondiscrimination Resolution

On the 10th of February, 2010, the Purdue Student Government (PSG) voted unanimously to urge Purdue University to amend its Nondiscrimination Policy to add "Gender Identity and Expression, Genetic Information, and Political Affiliation." Today, the 1st of March 2010, the Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG) voted 32-0 on that same resolution.

It is stunning to see such an immensely important resolution continue through the system, and to be doing so well! I honestly am amazed that the resolution has done so well. I remember going into the PSG meeting seriously worrying that the resolution would fail (and I thank those who helped me keep my sanity!), and then we came out of it with a unanimous victory!

Then, today, I was in a total state of worry again that the resolution would fail, even though we had been told the resolution should do well. My worry peaked when the bathroom issue (a typical ploy by the forces of evil to kill transgender rights) was brought up. Do these people seriously think that all but two AAU Universities and every Big Ten University except for Purdue would pass these resolutions if it risked people's safety? This issue is one of providing safety, not losing it. Luckily Jess Rombach and the various senators were more than prepared for the question. She illustrated her point flawlessly when she used her change of roommates freshman year due to climate conditions to tackle the housing issue, and was well equipped for the bathroom question. She easily quelled the worry of the two senators posing the questions.

As an amusing aside, there was a several minute debate on whether the resolution should be amended to add something along the lines of "or lack thereof" with regards to religion. It was eventually decided that religion did cover the nonreligious (as the discrimination would be on religious grounds), although they may talk with certain leaders about clarifying the wording in the future.

I still held my breath when the vote occurred, and was stunned, again, to see people so strongly embracing equal rights. It truly makes me feel safer at Purdue just knowing that so many of our student leaders understand just how important this resolution is.

While we celebrate this victory, we also must not forget that the steps ahead are harder. Student governments move faster than the many others who will see when it comes to policy. Doubt and opposition may begin to manifest, and we have to be prepared for tougher questions and even ignorant people.

I STRONGLY urge you to support this resolution. It means more than you could ever imagine to a lot of people.