Adding "Sexual Orientation" to UA Policy Supports the Mission, Attracts Best Applicants

University of Alaska students and supporters asked the Regents to add "sexual orientation" to the UA system's nondiscrimination policy during the Regents meeting in Fairbanks last week. The News-Miner wrote in part:
Jessica Angelette, president of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Gay-Straight Alliance, told the university's Board of Regents on Thursday that its current anti-discrimination rules lack explicit bans on discrimination based on "sexual orientation," something she indicated leaves university life scarier for gay students and active supporters of gay rights.

Angelette told regents that some students, gay or straight, are harassed after participating in campus events. She said one girl moved out of her dorm room two weeks before classes ended because she was being bullied by her roommate.

"We ... would like to work with the board to have the amending policy (be) the first step in making all campuses safe for every student," she said.

The university system follows some "interdependent partnership" rules that extend benefits for same-sex couples to employees and faculty. But efforts to explicitly mention sexual orientation in the regents' nondiscrimination policy — which bans discrimination based on sex, race and other factors — have fallen short at least twice, according to university records.
The comment section below the article is filled with thoughtful support and a few opponents who just don't get it.

This comment posted under the screen name "reason" clearly explains why the policy change supports the UA mission and is essential in attracting the most qualified employees:
"Kudos to UA students for taking the initiative to ask for a change in policy that is long overdue!

"Many colleges and universities across the United States already include "sexual orientation" in their nondiscrimination policy, and many are beginning to add "gender identity" as well. The Fairbanks North Star Borough public school district already includes both of these aspects of identity in their nondiscrimination policy. It is important for UA to add both of these to its nondiscrimination policy in order to protect students, staff, and faculty from the very real incidents of harassment that do take place on campus and that Christopher Eshleman's article describes very well. Adding to the UA's nondiscrimination policy is essential in forwarding the university's mission: students, staff, and faculty all need a climate free of harassment in order to do their best work.

"Moreover, like any other organization situated in a national and international marketplace, UA is competing with comparable organizations for students, staff, and faculty. Accreditation standards require universities to hire faculty with the most advanced degrees in their fields, and in many disciplines, such degrees are not offered in the state of Alaska. UA thus _must_ compete in the national and international marketplace for many of its faculty. As a faculty member who has sat on search committees for job candidates, I recently heard a job candidate express great surprise upon learning that UA does not offer a form of protection from discrimination that elsewhere is considered "standard." The lack of language concerning "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" hurts UA.

"The University of Alaska system cannot and should not wait for a federal law banning discrimination based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity". Many universities, colleges, school districts, and businesses already ban these kinds of discrimination because such policies better help them to achieve their mission. UA needs those protections now: to ensure that we can compete most successfully in the national and international marketplace to deliver the best education to the students in Alaska, and to ensure that all of our people can do their best work in a climate free of harassment and discrimination."


Anonymous said...

What does "sexual orientation" mean? Does it include those who enjoy sex with animals or children or dead bodies? Does it include polygamists? The term "sexual orientation" is vague enough to include every type of sexual preference, both moral and immoral. Right now it refers to honmosexuals, but, just as they have organized and striven for the right to marry, so will other groups. Where will it end? Who will decide what is moral and what is immoral? If we are each entitle to our own morality, then anything goes.

Matt said...

Oh look! The vast left wing advocacy group got a comment from a Prevoite!

Well done Bent!

Jessi said...

"Sexual Orientation" is if you are gay, straight, or bi-sexual. It has nothing to do with enjoying sex with animals, children, or dead bodies. You should make sure your facts are straight.

Anonymous said...

60 years ago, our society considered fornication and adultery to be immoral. For the past 30 years or so, this has not been the case. Today fornication and adultery are considered socially acceptable. In the past, homosexuality has been considered immoral by our society. Today, homosexual activists are steadily convincing people that it is acceptable. Once our society has accepted homosexuality, what is to keep polygamists from trying to accept polygamy as socially acceptable? And then, why not other groups with various sexual preferences? I DO have my facts straight. I have lived long enough to see our society accept fornication and adultery and to see the ever increasing acceptance of homosexuality. Again, I ask, where does it end? Who determines what is moral or immoral?

Jessi said...

There is a difference between having something be moral and legal. What one people see as moral another group of people might see it as immoral.

Adultery has been around for 1,000s of years so I highly doubt that it is going away. When is comes to people having sex outside of marriage, it is not up to you nor me to decide if they can or not. Its THEIR right and choice.

There is no "slippery-slope" action going on. Your comments have nothing to do with the article above or the reasons that my fellow students and I are trying to make sure that ALL students within the Alaska University system are protected from harrassment and discrimination. So like I said before...get your facts straight!!!

Matt said...

It's such a weak arguement. What you're essentially saying is you don't want to accept the way homosexuals live and instead want them to live like you do.

"Christians" were anti women rights. They were FOR slavery.

My oh my, where would we be if we did not progress.

Philip Yancey said, I have heard calls for the public castration of rapists, but have not ever heard a call for face mutilation of someone who has lusted.

Search the Scriptures instead of reading them.

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