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Friday, September 22, 2023

Staff Editorial

SGA bill would protect transgendered students

A bill designed to amend the University of Houston System’s Non-discrimination Statement in the Student Handbook will be introduced at the SGA’s next meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 25. The bill will request that the phrase “Gender Identity and Expression” be added to the current non-discrimination statement.

According to the text of the bill, this would protect UH students who have “a gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression…different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.”

Section 3 of the bill would require the University to print the revised version of the Non-Discrimination Statement in the Student Handbook and all appropriate UH publications.

The winners of this bill would be transgendered UH students, a group often overlooked by the student body.

“Previously we passed a resolution calling for the Board of Regents to implement this new policy, but according to administrators, this should only be a minor policy change,” Michael McHugh, the author of the bill, said in an email.

“Therefore, the UCC has returned this issue to the students citing that SGA has the most appropriate jurisdiction for amending the student handbook.”

We at The Daily Cougar urge members of the SGA to back this bill. It is important for our University to stop turning a blind eye on the discrimination transgendered students endure and give them official protection under a revised non-discrimination statment.

The Faculty Senate should then follow the example of SGA and vote to protect transgendered faculty and staff from employment discrimination.

UH is known nationally for its diverse population. We should show the rest of our nation that we value diversity on every front by protecting transgendered Cougars from discrimination.

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