From Amy Milin
FAU is currently one of two state universities in Florida that do not protect sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy. This may, however, change in the near future. On November 16, a final vote will be presented to the board of trustees.
As an FAU student and an author of the proposed student government bill in 2009, I am anxiously awaiting the results.
While I look forward to the possible policy change, I am disappointed FAU did not welcome the opportunity to protect all of its student body. Sexual orientation policy only protects students who are discriminated against for their sexual orientation; it does not protect against the student who were discriminated against for not following gender norms.
The primary reason for discrimination is not sexual orientation, rather the perception of being gay or lesbian based on mannerisms and/or dress. Often students who are perceived to be gay are not; they may simply not want to conform to what society perceives their gender to be.
I feel FAU had a chance to correct a wrong, be progressive and truly exemplify diversity. The university had a chance to correct a policy that was previously overlooked by the administration and ultimately led FAU to becoming one of the last schools to change its anti-discrimination policy in the state by being one of the first state universities (following FSU, New College) to protect gender identity and gender expression.
Amy Beth Milin