During a Student Senate meeting on March 12, Lauren Roberts, Saline senior, and Phillip Carlisle, Indianapolis, Ind. first-year, presented two resolutions to Student Senate.
The proposals regarded gender identity and gender expression to the non-discrimination (page ii) and the discriminatory harassment section (page 79) of the Student Handbook. They were passed with near unanimous vote; all but one Senate member approved.
“The proposed bills are great for the college community,” said Andy Leyder, Linden sophomore. “The bills make clear statements that the college will not tolerate any discrimination regarding not only race, religion, or sexual orientation, but, now, gender [expression] and gender identity.”
Students went even further to include organizations and clubs into their thoughts.
“I think that the school needs to be much more accepting of the LGBT community,” said Philip Brimer, Troy sophomore. “There are few campus-supported activities for them, but the school needs to make a greater effort to make that community feel welcomed.”
A third resolution was passed on March 19. It has to do with clubs and college organizations on campus having to follow the anti-discrimination acts, and was passed with a unanimous vote. Though one Senate member abstained from voting.
“If Albion College is truly interested in fostering a safe, inclusive, and tolerant atmosphere on campus, it is important to set anti-discrimination policies down in stone,” said Pryce Hadley, Marquette senior.
The newly passed resolutions seem to fit well with some of the student body’s views.
“I like how the last bill makes sure that clubs will have to follow both policies of non-discrimination and non-harassment,” Leyder said. “I think it is much needed because the campus is changing and colleges around us have gender [expression] and gender identity included in their policies.”
Club leaders seem active in keeping up with what is going on and seem to mostly support the recent actions.
“Policies or punishment for offenders will not be enough to make campus a truly tolerant community. Students, especially those involved in the leadership of clubs, Greek life, and other organizations, need to step up and make an active effort to be inclusive,” Hadley said.
Some students also think that this is only the beginning of Albion’s development.
“I am glad to see the college taking a step in the right direction. I hope they take this opportunity to reinforce the positive, accepting culture many of us are working to cultivate on campus,” Hadley said.
The anti-discrimination resolutions protect students not only from being excluded, but also ensures equal rights on campus.
“There should not be any campus group that tells another what to feel and believe, however, we should not tolerate discrimination in the public forum,” Brimer said.