Campus Pride commends Napa Valley College for taking the lead on AB 620; Asking about LGBT Identity on campus-based forms and in campus employment application
Napa Valley College issued a campus-wide survey this week asking currently enrolled students optional LGBT identity questions; Campus-based forms will include optional LGBT identity questions including employment applications
Campus Pride commends Napa Valley College for taking the lead in California on LGBT inclusion efforts for AB 620. Napa Valley College announced this week that the campus will survey all current students asking them to self-identify their sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, the campus has outlined specifically how it will be in compliance with the State of California Assembly Bill 620 signed into law by the Governor in October 2011.
“Adding specific LGBT identity questions represents a growing paradigm shift in higher education to actively recognize out LGBT populations and to exercise greater responsibility for LGBT student safety, retention and academic success,” said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride executive director. “Academic retention and success should be of concern for every student, especially LGBT students who are at high risk of harassment on campus. Now is the time for all California colleges and universities to ensure full compliance with AB 620.”
AB 620 amended the existing law known as the Donahoe Higher Education for the University of California system, California State University system, and California Community College system. This week Napa Valley College Vice President of Student Services Oscar De Haro announced the college will be in full compliance by taking the following steps:
1. Adopt and publish policies on harassment, intimidation, and bullying to be included in rules of student conduct.
2. Publish these harassment, intimidation and bullying rules and policies at a minimum on the college website.
3. Expand the existing definition of gender and gender identity to include gender expression. The Napa Valley College Student Code of Conduct was amended to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as identity groups protected from harassment. The prohibition of harassment was included along with a new section added to prohibit bullying. The same language will be added in the next print publication of the Napa Valley College Catalog.
4. Requests that we designate one person at each campus as a point of contact to address the needs of LGBT faculty, staff, and students. Greg Miraglia is designated by the District to address the needs of LGBT faculty, staff, and students.
5. Requests that we collect demographic data regarding sexual orientation and gender identity of staff and students along with other aggregate demographic data.
In relation to adding optional LGBT demographic questions, Napa Valley College has signaled it is ready for the State of California to issue this change on the state-level with the computerized Admission application. Napa Valley College is now independently acquiring the data on all campus-based forms outside of the admissions application to show its commitment to better serve LGBT student populations.
Greg Miraglia, the national program coordinator for Campus Pride’s Stop the Hate Program, also serves as the LGBT Advocate at Napa Valley College. He said, “We are hopeful that the California State Chancellor’s Office will this spring be adding a question about sexual orientation and gender identity to the centralized application system for all California Community Colleges.” As stated in the campus memorandum issued this week, “the goal is always to provide a campus environment that is safe for all students to learn, and for staff to work.”