Following National Coming Out Week, the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity full commission meeting focused on more than LGBT issues among students but faculty as well.
Yesterday afternoon at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equity commission meeting faculty and students gathered to address issues affecting the welfare of the LGBT university community.
To start off the meeting, Dana Kletchka chairwoman of CLGBTE, talked about upcoming events that would be useful and helpful for commission members to attend, such events included an LGBT 101 intro course and conference.
After going over the event calendar, members dived into discussing topics that were relevant to both faculty and students.
One of the first topics discussed was the “Creating Change” conference, an annual national gay and lesbian task force conference held in Houston, Texas. Commission member Erin Stacksteder proposed that the commission pay for 25 percent of the trip. Kletchka said the commission would consider the proposal once Stacksteder has a better idea of who is going.
Perhaps some of the biggest news is Craig Leets departure as assistant director for the LGBTA student resource center, Kletchka said. Many members of the commission were sad to hear that Leets is leaving Penn State. Kletchka said the student resource center does not know who will be taking his place at the moment.
In continuing the meeting each committee within the commission went on to purpose different issues currently present.
Co-chairs of Communications/Outreach Marcus Robinson and Matthew Ciszek discussed how they want to make an impact report for this year and how they have created a Yammer as a way for the commission to share information.
In keeping with communication and social media Emily Werns, undergraduate member of the commission, said to publicize events the commission should make a twitter and re-tweet different diversity groups and events on campus.
“I am excited about taking on the responsibility of posting and retreating on behalf of the commission,” Werns said.
Another issue discussed at the meeting was the benefit changes of insurance toward transgenders.
Many members of the commission proposed having transgender available bathrooms at the university. Marie Lindhorst, chair-elect, said the Arizona State University has a policy says that everyone has the right to use the restroom that corresponds to their daily gender.
“Students shouldn’t have to track a mile in order to use the bathroom,” Cristol Gregory, nominating chair said.
In keeping with transgender rights, Linhorst said Penn State admission is providing students to identify with female, male or transgender.
To conclude the meeting, Jill Musser and Marissa McClure spoke to the commission meeting on insurance and transgender issues.
Musser, member of the office of human resources, said in regards to insurance everything is covered up to surgical interventions.
“Student insurance world is different than group employer insurance world,” Musser said.
McClure, professor of arts and architecture, talked about her infertility treatments and medical aspects.
She said having insurance coverage would have changed her and her husband’s lives. Though their story did not have a “happy ending” and the infertility treatments did not work, McClure said they are both committed to advocating.
“Is having a family a privilege or a human right,” McClure said.
Kendall Senko can be reached at email@example.com or (814) 865-1828.
Follow her on Twitter at @KendallSenko.