NASPA Speaks Out Against Discriminatory Laws

NASPA, along with other higher education associations and institutions nationwide, is appalled at Senate Bill 6 proposed in Texas this month. The so-called “Texas Privacy Bill” codifies discrimination and would have a significant negative impact on the daily lives of trans identified students, faculty, and staff at institutions across the state. NASPA also recognizes that the issue of trans inclusion isn’t specific to Texas. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the new legislative session in January has ushered in a spate of legislation targeted toward limiting the rights of trans identified people to use the bathroom of their choice. In addition to Texas, our thoughts are with those who will be impacted if similar legislation is passed in Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, and Virginia. 

We believe it is incumbent upon all of us to work hard to prevent such proposed legislation from becoming law in any state. As such, we urge NASPA members in each of the below-listed states to connect with the groups leading the charge to stop this legislation from moving forward:

·       Kentucky - http://www.aclu-ky.org/

·       Minnesota - https://www.outfront.org/home

·       Missouri – https://www.aclu-mo.org/

·       Virginia- http://www.equalityvirginia.org/transgender/

·       Alabama – http://aclualabama.org/wp/

·       South Carolina - http://www.scequality.org/

·       Washington - http://www.washingtonwontdiscriminate.org/

Additionally, we hope that you will encourage your students to get involved on this important issue. Let this troubling time become a teachable moment about the importance of political activism and the knowledge that discrimination against one groups harms us all.

We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio in March, where we will continue to raise our voices against this and other discriminatory efforts that impact both our members and the students that we serve. Look for the NASPActs table at the conference for a myriad of ways to get involved in the fight against discrimination and injustice.

NASPA is also committed to provide programming and other opportunities for members who want to help prevent discriminatory legislation and is planning a series of professional development opportunities through the Online Learning Community that continues and strengthens support of trans identified individuals on campus. NASPA will also engage those who have already been fighting this issue in states like North Carolina to share their expertise on the opportunities and lessons learned during similar struggles.

Finally, NASPA is working with the Public Policy Division to do an analysis of the progress that campuses have made with regard to trans inclusiveness since the May 2016 Dear Colleague Letter. These types of protections will be vital to trans students, faculty, and staff as institutions move forward during these trying times.

NASPA as an association, in collaboration with our members, can make an impact and help ensure the protections and rights that our trans identified colleagues and students deserve.