OUT for Change: LGBTQ resources at Georgetown
We the undersigned, members of the Georgetown University community, strongly urge President DeGioia to implement the following changes to ensure a more safe, respectful, and inclusive campus, especially for the LGBTQ community. We are students, faculty, alumni, staff, and parents. We are straight and LGBTQ: PERSONNEL: There is not enough diversity training in place for staff, faculty, administration and students. Also the resources for those wishing to learn more about LGBTQ issues are thoroughly inadequate. The Safe Zones training program is dormant, and it is not fair to place the burden of support services for LGBTQ students on a student organization. In order to more effectively deal with hate and bias on campus, a resource center must be established with multiple full-time staff positions. The center would advocate, proactively and progressively engage the community to create a more inclusive and safe environment. This resource center should be established and set in action for the next fiscal year. EDUCATION: No freshman student should end his or her first year at Georgetown without knowing what LGBTQ stands for, or what a transgender person is. Therefore a workshop must be established for new members of the community to learn basic information about the community as well as engage in an initial discussion on the issues. The Office of LGBTQ Community Resources and GU Pride have successfully held events like this in the past in freshman residences, but an institution and permanent change must be made to address these issues. PROTOCOL: Georgetown students should never again need to find out about a hate crime or bias incident within our community from the news media before the university. Clear protocols and policies, openly available to all and entirely transparent, must be established and followed for all hate and bias incidents in the future. Although complex privacy issues exist in hate crime cases, that should not have precluded the University from sending out a broadcast e-mail stating that a biased attack had occurred and that the suspects were at large hours following the attack. Also for biased related incidents the appropriate staff member should be notified and be involved in administrative discussions. DIALOGUE IN ACTION: In order to implement these proposals and changes needed by the University in the future, student, faculty, staff and administration collaboration is essential. A broadened and adequately funded LGBTQ Working Group including student, faculty, staff and senior administration figures, must be formed to begin looking at how to implement these extremely necessary policy changes and proposals, and alleviate the grievances of not just the LGBTQ community at Georgetown, but the entire campus. Everyone is affected by hate.