THIS FRIDAY: UNC STUDENTS CALL TO ACTION TO ATTEND UNC BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING TO DEMONSTRATE SUPPORT FOR GENDER-INCLUSIVE HOUSING
Campus Pride issued this North Carolina Call to Action last week and has submitted the following Campus Pride testimony which cites the research as to the harms to student safety and campus climate. The UNC Board of Governors leadership stated that the testimony would be provided as part of the meeting record and minutes for the UNC Board of Governors.
The UNC Board of Governor proposed “Campus Housing” policy to the UNC Policy Manual reads:
The constituent institutions shall not assign members of the opposite sex to any institutionally owned and operated dormitory room, dormitory suite, or campus apartment unless the students are siblings, parent and child, or they are legally married. This policy applies to housing assignments beginning with the fall 2013 semester.
Campus Pride’s mission is to give “voice” and “action” to young adults and to empower student voices to be heard on issues that impact LGBT student life, campus safety and academic success. It is clear that the NC Board of Governors want this policy to pass behind closed doors, in a cloak of secrecy, during the summer months when the students are away from campus. There has been no student input as part of the NC Board of Governors proceedings or the ability to present research related to the impact of the policy on campus safety. Repeated requests for students in the UNC system to be on the agenda have been denied along with subsequent suggestions to move the agenda item to the next Board of Governor meeting on September 13. This move would allow for student input as well as presenting research.
The Board of Governors clearly do not have the safety of all students in mind in their attempt to pass this policy, “This legislation banning and/or limiting gender-inclusive housing is discriminating against trans-spectrum students and places trans-spectrum students at risk. Based on research conducted by Dr. Sue Rankin, “trans-spectrum students are already an at-risk population.” She also writes, “The Campus Pride 2010 State of Higher Education report was one of the first national studies to examine the climate on college campuses. The study involved more than 5,000 LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty and found that almost a quarter of the LGBTQ respondents and about one third of the trans-identified respondents had experienced harassment or violence on campus because of their sexual or gender identity.”