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.