UA Students ask Regents to Amend Non-Discrimination Policy

For the second time this year, University of Alaska students and supporters will ask the UA Board of Regents to add "sexual orientation" to the non-discrimination policy of the UA system. They will make their request during the Regents meeting on June 4-5 at UAF.

"It's time that we take a stand and be proactive in making sure all students are protected," reads the message on their Facebook event page. "The Board should not wait until a terrible incident happens to see how important amending the policy is."

On April 8-9, a group of students from Fairbanks, and one from Juneau, traveled to Valdez to testify to board members about tuition and the univeristy's non-discrimination policy. Jessica Angelette spoke on behalf of the UAF Gay Straight Alliance. The issue wasn't on the April agenda, but board chair Cynthia Henry urged the students to keep the dialogue open.

UA President Mark Hamilton spoke with the students outside the meeting room on the Prince William Sound Community College campus. (Pictured from left to right: Hamilton, Patrick Sanders, Todd Vorisek, Jessica Angelette and Kirsten Halpin. Photo by Kate Ripley.)

The University of Alaska does not include "sexual orientation" in their non discrimination policies, although UAA includes it in their Diversity Statement. The Board of Regents must approve amendments to the policies.

"It would be good to have anyone in Fairbanks who supports us to come out and speak," writes Jessica. "If you would like to share your story with the Board, please feel free to do so."

The public testimony will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday June 4, and 9 a.m. on Friday June 5, in room 109 of the Butrovich Building at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. A sign-up sheet will be available prior to the meeting.

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