Boca House affirms student identities, combats anti-semitism

The Boca House of Representatives unanimously adopted on Friday resolutions that affirms gender identities and condemns anti-semitism.


Elisabeth Gaffney

House of Representatives meeting on Feb. 24. 2023.

Elisabeth Gaffney, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The UP updated this story as of Feb. 27 with a statement from Rep. Inbal Sachar.

The Boca Raton House of Representatives unanimously adopted two resolutions Friday afternoon, both which reaffirm the identities of students at FAU.

Resolution BRHR 2023-07 affirms and recognizes students’ gender identities and was adopted with a vote of 25-0.

The resolution recommends that FAU adopt students’ preferred names and pronouns offered on Canvas and to create a Change of Gender form and make it available for students to use within the university’s system. It also recommends the Office of Information Technology to investigate the feasibility of which information from students’ Common Apps can be transferred into FAU’s systems.

Cited in the resolution are statistics from The Trevor Project 2020 and 2022 surveys, as well as a 2022 report from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Williams Institute of Law, using these sources to indicate the reason identity recognition and affirmation should be implemented on the FAU campus.

In his report, Representative Teddy Salise, who helped write this resolution, thanked his fellow representatives for unanimously adopting the resolution.

Salise shared his own transgender experiences and spoke for the trans community when he said that it can be humiliating and uncomfortable for systems like Canvas to fail in detecting preferred names.

“I truly believe that providing these services — a change of gender marker within the university system and the built-in preferred name and pronouns options on Canvas — will better the experiences of trans and nonbinary students at FAU,” said Salise.

The second resolution presented at the meeting was BRHR 2023-08, which condemns antisemitism and supports the Jewish community, was also adopted with a vote of 25-0.

Inspired by the presence of “Ye is right” protesters on campus, the second resolution encourages FAU administration to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IRHA)’s non-legally binding definition of anti-semitism, which identifies any form of hatred toward Jewish individuals in Jewish-serving community institutions as anti-semitism.

“The Boca Raton House of Representatives recommends the University implement a diversity coalition amongst all associated with the institution and establish an allied system striving to combat anti-Semitism incorporating identification, education, and condemnation,” BRHR 2023-08 reads.

The resolution was proposed by Representative Inbal Shachar.

“As a Jewish student leader, I am proud that my student leaders are taking a stand to combat Anti-Semitism. It takes courage to generate such change and with every person’s efforts, we can condemn all hate. Be the light in the darkness and spread kindness. Unity and diversity is what holds us strong and will continue to grow,” wrote Shachar.

Speaker of the House Isabella Feaheny spoke fondly of both resolutions and the authors in her speaker’s report.

“If possible, I’d like to keep debate on the resolutions to a minimum, that’s just my recommendation, just because I think both of them are very, very strong and impactful. And I think that the authors of those resolutions did an excellent job,” said Feaheny.

Elisabeth Gaffney is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this article or others, you can email [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @elisabethgaff.