Thursday, April 9

UC begins implementing LGBT advisory group recommendations

The University of California will allow students to indicate their preferred names in its academic record system and will build gender-neutral bathrooms in new and renovated buildings, implementing two recommendations from the University’s task force on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, officials announced Monday.

The changes are meant to make students feel more comfortable on campus by providing more gender-neutral bathrooms for the transgender community and letting all students use their preferred rather than legal names, on transcripts and in class.

There is no set timeline for when the changes will be implemented yet, said UC spokeswoman Brooke Converse.

The announcement comes after the UC President’s Advisory Group on LGBT issues met for the first time Thursday in Oakland. UC President Janet Napolitano also called for the advisory group to develop proposals to improve staff training and plan a systemwide gathering to discuss University research on LGBT issues.

In June, Napolitano announced the 16-member group, which includes the director of the LGBT Resource Center at UCLA and a researcher from the Williams Institute, which studies LGBT issues at the UCLA School of Law. The group is studying recommendations made by the UC Task Force and Implementation Team on LGBT Climate and Inclusion, which formed in 2012, to see which ones can be implemented.

Though the task force made eight recommendations, Raja Bhattar, a director of the LGBT Resource Center at UCLA who is also member of the task force and the UC advisory group, said the University is implementing only two for now, as he said Napolitano saw those as the most effective and immediately feasible. Other recommendations included dedicating funding for a counselor on each campus who specializes in care for LGBT students and allowing for the voluntary collection of data about gender identity.

Bhattar added that he thinks the actions will make LGBT students, faculty and staff feel more comfortable on campus.

Currently, UCLA is making its own push for gender-inclusive bathrooms, as the university is converting some of its single-stall restrooms to be gender inclusive.

The LGBT advisory group is set to meet quarterly. Bhattar said no date is set for the winter quarter meeting yet.

Compiled by Jeong Park, Bruin senior staff.

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