When it comes to the rights of LGBTQ students on Main Campus, we recognize the strides Temple has made.
Just three years ago, then-President Neil Theobald mentioned LGBTQ students for the first time ever in a presidential inaugural address. At Temple, we have groups like the Queer Student Union and Queer People of Color, which aim to create a helpful community for LGBTQ students at Temple.
But we also understand that we have not secured all the necessary rights for LGBTQ students here at Temple — in fact, we have much to improve on.
We hope for more careful use of gender pronouns in classes. We hope for the successful formation of Students for Trans* Awareness and Rights, which applied for student organization status over the summer. We hope for mandated Safe Zone training for all professors, to better educate faculty about LGBTQ issues.
Ultimately, we hope for a designated LGBTQ or gender and sexuality center on Main Campus, like those at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State and Lehigh University.
“It’s 2016, and frankly, LGBT centers were a given in 1993, so the fact that we’re still well behind the times is kind of shocking,” Scott Gratson, director of communication studies in the School of Media and Communication and chair of the LGBTQ Faculty Concerns and Issues Committee, told The Temple News. “We still have a very, very long way to go to come close to our peer institutions.”
We hope the university can get there in the near future. Hopefully the new Temple Student Government Parliament will help, which features one seat to represent LGBTQ students. Perhaps with this voice, devoted specifically to an LGBTQ student elected by the student body, Temple can continue to improve the representation and rights of LGBTQ students on Main Campus.