Letter to the editor

Boris Bastidas

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Received Oct. 18, 2011.

Dear Editor, last week Student Government received notice that a proposed amendment to the FAU’s regulation on Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harrassment is set to be considered by the University Board of Trustees.

This regulation would be amended to include sexual orientation as protected class.  That means gays and lesbians would have the same protections that other students have based on race, religion, color, disability, gender and more.

This is something I’m happy to see, I acually worked on getting Student Government to push this back in 2009 by writing a resolution with the then leaders of the Lambda United club.

It’s about time this change occurs, however we see issues with the proposal.  There are transgender students on campus, and while protections for gays is a huge show of progress, we risk students being perceived to be gay because of the way they express their gender.

FSU last summer amended their regulation to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Supporters of this change and members of the LGBTQA community are very pleased with the progress that is set to be made, but we don’t understand why the FAU Board is only going halfway.

By adding sexual orientation as a protected class, FAU will no longer be one of just two state schools to not have this policy change.  But this issue is now only beginning, and the next step will be for supporters of progress to advocate the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression as well, something that should have been dealt with in all the two years that I and others have waited to see progress.

I hope the Board realizes that the issue here is only just beginning, and that we should never only go half way when it comes to people’s protections and acknowledgement within the campus community.