Last year ASWU worked to get a resolution passed that adds sexual orientation to the list of protected identities in the staff and faculty handbook. If you weren’t here or you need a refresher, this would mean faculty and staff could not be fired for their sexual orientation and they would have recourse to protect themselves from harassment as a result of their sexual orientation.
Last year’s editorial board wrote a piece on the resolution prior to its passage last year. We expressed our disbelief at the fact that any enactment of this resolution will likely not take place until almost three years from now.
At the time, we strongly encouraged students to make their voices heard and to pass the resolution. ASWU did an excellent job of informing students, gathering opinions and allowing students’ voices to be heard. They hosted and funded a speaker series, with speakers representing multiple sides of the issue. They also presented students with in-depth survey options in order to reach a collective opinion that truly represented the Whitworth student body.
A survey approving this resolution was passed by last year’s student body with a two-thirds majority, ASWU passed the resolution and it is now in the hands of the Board of Trustees for their consideration before implementation. Seeing as this resolution was present almost a year ago, we are frustrated at the lack of change. Waiting three years to enact this policy means that most of the students who expressed their opinions will have graduated and moved on from Whitworth, but it is something that those students believe in.
We still believe that adding this policy would support the Whitworth mission and we implore the trustees to make more active efforts to enact this change in an expeditious manner.
The students have spoken and believe that this change would make Whitworth a better, more diverse and more inclusive space. It is time for the trustees so listen to student voices and add sexual orientation to the list of protected identities.
Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.