[lg policy] Bowling Green University (Indiana): Policies may include new gender language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 3 14:42:58 UTC 2011

Policies may include new gender language

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 12:39 am

    by Danae King

Gender identity and gender expression - these are terms that aren't
heard every day, but still have importance, according to a group at
the University. The Inclusion Network is composed of faculty, staff
and students. The group is working to get the terms "gender identity"
and "gender expression" added to the University's anti-harassment and
equal opportunity policies.

The Inclusion Network defines gender identity as "the way in which an
individual identifies with a gender category ... which can be distinct
from the person's sex as assigned at birth." Gender expression is
defined as "the external manifestation of one's gender identity." The
group isn't the first to attempt to get the terms included in
University policy, but they are the most recent to pursue the cause.

"The idea has been kicked around in a lot of different venues of the
University over the years," said Bill Albertini, an associate
professor and a member of the Inclusion Network. "Other bodies have
made similar proposals."

One such similar proposal was made approximately four and a half years
ago in 2007.

Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate Student Senate and Faculty
Senate heard of the proposal and approved it, but it didn't make it to
the Board of Trustees, where the final decision would have been made.
Albertini said he wasn't sure why the proposal never made it to the
board four years ago, but he and the Inclusion Network are trying to
gain support again.

Albertini presented at the USG meeting Oct. 24 and the Faculty Senate
meeting Nov. 1. He is set to present at the GSS meeting Friday.

Albertini hopes the language becomes a part of University policy.

"[The language addition] tells students they are protected and is an
opportunity to educate ourselves about what these terms mean,"
Albertini said. "By understanding what these terms mean it helps us
build a more inclusive University and tell all students that they're
welcome here and belong here no matter their gender identity or gender

USG members approved a resolution accepting the changes in 2007, but
they drafted a second resolution regarding the language and passed it
at their Monday meeting.

"The fact that the resolution passed is a great testament to student
voice," USG President Emily Ancinec said at the meeting.

Faculty Senate members also reaffirmed their support of their previous
resolution regarding the language at their meeting Tuesday.

GSS members will decide whether to draft a new resolution or reaffirm
support in their 2007 resolution at their Friday meeting.

GSS President David Sleasman said he is in support of the language.

"I don't anticipate there being any voice of opposition [in GSS],"
Sleasman said. "I think it's the right time and place and I think this
is a good thing to look into."

The University will be one of 413 other colleges and universities to
add the language if they decide to adopt it, according to documents
the Inclusion Network presented to University President Mary Ellen

"In 2007, the resolution was relatively new in Ohio," Albertini said.
"Now we've fallen behind our peer institutions."

The language is a matter of justice, Albertini said.

"I think what it does, in part, is it's a clear statement of the
University's values," Albertini said.


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