Policy provides protection for gender expression
The Towson University Diversity Coordinating Council has augmented its sexual orientation discrimination policy to prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity or expression.
As outlined in the policy, gender identity or expression is an individual’s “actual or perceived gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression,” regardless of whether or not these characteristics align with traditional gender roles of their gender assigned at birth.
“I believe it’s important that comfortableness and safety is not something that only the majority enjoys on campus,” senior criminal justice major Courtney Delucia said. “I’m glad to hear that Towson is truly committed to protecting everyone.”
Before establishing a policy, the University’s Diversity Coordination Council and Campus Climate Work Group of the Diversity Action Committee researched the best methods to successfully develop a policy by reviewing facilities and making recommendations for changes.
Included in the changes are new signs to designate single-gender restrooms as gender neutral, gender neutral housing, an additional neutral bathroom in Cook Library and the ability for students to use their preferred name on class rosters and their OneCard by contacting LGBT Student Resources in the Center for Student Diversity.
The policy, which was updated Aug. 27, is now in compliance with the University System of Maryland (USM) policy to “foster and maintain an inclusive campus environment,” according to Debbie Seeberger, assistant to the president for diversity and equal opportunity.
“If a university is striving to be inclusive, this protection is necessary,” Seeberger said. “Towson is committed to this goal and this policy supports this commitment.”