The Missouri Students Association passed a resolution supporting a change to the M-book's non-discrimination clause to include gender expression, declaring student support for the much-needed initiative.
The addition is long overdue. Too long. Without this addition, students are denied their right to equal opportunity.
We applaud MSA and all others who have worked toward this long-awaited resolution. This is a necessary step in promoting a diverse and inclusive campus.
Before the resolution was passed, the non-discrimination clause in the M-book hadn’t been updated since 1989, more than two decades ago.
Although we’re happy our student conduct book will include a non-discrimination clause that finally embraces the right of every individual student on campus to equal opportunity, we hope this gap serves as a reminder. The Office of Student Conduct needs to consistently review the M-book in an interval of every few years to address how it might be changed to more accurately serve the rights of students and reflect the present campus climate.
In a 2009 Climate Study, 57.1 percent of transgender students report having experienced harassment on college campuses, according to the MSA resolution.
Need we say that this study was done in 2009, three years ago? Three years is a long time, and we hope that in the future it will only take as little time as necessary for a bill to move through the bureaucratic process before students can receive official protection against violations of their rights.
Regardless, the resolution to include gender expression in the non-discrimination clause is wonderful move that will serve as a positive, hopeful landmark in our university’s history, and it needs to happen now. We are in full support of MSA's resolution and every student who wants an open, inclusive campus to become a reality should support it, as well.