This has truly been a semester of progress for the LGBTQ Community at Purdue.
The most important change to occur this semester for the Queer Community at Purdue is the addition of Gender Identity and Expression to the Nondiscrimination Policy. This was tried and failed in the past, but today became a reality. Purdue has joined its peers. This protection will go a long way in empowering Transgender, Intersex, and gender-nonconforming students, faculty, and staff to report incidents of discrimination and harassment. It also shows that Purdue stands for the inclusion of Transgender and Intersex individuals.
I can't mention the Nondiscrimination Policy without pointing out that Genetic Information (one of my pet categories) also got added. While this addition may seem odd, I think it actually is quite forward-thinking. But this is a post about the Queer Community, so I will add this for those it affects, but not go completely into my lecture.
Also, equally as important for Purdue and most important for West Lafayette, West Lafayette has expanded its Human Relations Ordinance to add Gender Identity and Expression. This reaffirms West Lafayette as an inclusive community. I hope that this makes people feel (and be) safer in West Lafayette.
Purdue has also been moving towards a more inclusive community in terms of surveys. The Housing Satisfaction Survey included the options "Transgender," and "Other," in addition to "Male" and "Female." Not long after this, and a battle that was also had in the past, was a change on course evaluations. Course evaluations no longer ask gender.
Purdue also had its first, university-sponsored, National Coming Out Day celebration. Dr Ronni Sanlo, a leading expert on LGBTQ issues on campuses, met with multiple groups to help move campus forward. World AIDS Day was recognized at Purdue, including the Bell Tower being turned red. Purdue Student Government sent a letter of support to a student body president on another campus who was harassed due to their sexual orientation. Gamma Rho Lambda became a part of the Panhellenic Association, and these are not even all of the progress that occurred!
There is still a lot of work that has to happen at Purdue, but we are several steps closer to a truly inclusive campus.
17 December 2010
Queer Student Union
Stewart Center Box 642
128 Memorial Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Contact: Nicholas Goldsmith, President
Purdue Board of Trustees Expands Nondiscrimination Policy
On Friday, December 17th, the Purdue Board of Trustees voted to expand the nondiscrimination policy to include "gender identity and expression" and "genetic information." No votes were cast in opposition of the revision.
With this addition, Purdue joins the majority of its peer institutions and the city of West Lafayette in rejecting discrimination on the basis of "gender identity and expression." The amendment was proposed by Purdue Student Government, who voted unanimously to recommend the change.
The policy will now state, "Purdue University prohibits discrimination against any member of the University community on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran."
Purdue Queer Student Union President Nicholas Goldsmith, "I am proud to see Purdue move closer to being an inclusive community for all."
Jess Rombach, Purdue Student Government Senator for the Council of Organizations for Respect and Equality and author of the resolution stated, "This is a giant step towards a more welcoming environment, so that all Purdue students can equally enjoy their time at Purdue."
Purdue Student Government took up the issue after the Queer Student Union illuminated the gap in the inclusivity of the policies.