University of California President Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday that she will create an advisory group on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
The president’s advisory group will offer direction to Napolitano on issues regarding LGBT students, faculty and staff. Napolitano announced the formation of the group after the UC Task Force and Implementation Team on LGBT Climate and Inclusion made recommendations to her on Friday.
The task force, formed in May 2012 to enhance campus climate, made eight recommendations on how to create a safer environment for members of the LGBT community at the UC.
The recommendations included developing a systemwide gender-neutral restroom policy, having full-time counselors for LGBT students and allowing those in the community to voluntarily submit data on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The task force also suggested giving a tax subsidy to employees in domestic partnerships who receive health benefits to make up for additional income taxes they have to pay.
The group’s formation comes after the UC released the results of its campus climate survey in March. In the survey, which included feedback from more than 104,000 individuals across the UC, many members of the genderqueer and transgender community said they have experienced offensive conduct on campus.
At UCLA, genderqueer and transgender respondents said they felt less comfortable with campus climate than respondents from non-minority backgrounds at UCLA.
Dianne Klein, a UC spokeswoman, said Napolitano has not responded to any of the recommendations specifically, but she is considering all of them. The advisory group is one of the first steps in addressing campus climate issues for LGBT students, Klein said.
Compiled by Alex Torpey, Bruin contributor.