Full LGBTQIA+ support from Claflin University’s administration.

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Out of tradition and cultural responsibility, HBCUs have an obligation to change the status quo and lead the way in inclusive efforts. There are 105 HBCUs across the country. According to a report released by the University of Pennsylvania, only (21) of these HBCUs have LGBTQIA+ student organizations. In addition, only (3) HBCUs have full- time administrative staff or a center dedicated to LGBTQIA+ affairs. The lack of attention to LGBTQIA+ issues is pervasive and alarming, and the illustrious Claflin University falls under this
category.

HBCUs were founded on principles of equality, justice, and innovation. HBCUs should embrace a paradigm that have been, are, and will always be an undeniable part of the campus community. HBCU campuses must pride in being healthy, literate, and safe spaces for all genders, and orientations. It is an intrinsic aspect of their legacies as pioneers of the advancement of African-Americans in this country.

Don’t mistake this petition in claiming that Claflin University discriminates or bashes those of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is evident that this isn’t true. This petition is to draw attention to the complete oversight of not keeping pace with other colleges and universities in transcending dominant and anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiments on campus and developing welcoming environments for LGBTQIA+ students. This petition is not to fight the administration. This petition’s sole purpose is to highlight the lack of support and representation of current students and incoming students that identify within this community.

Claflin University should follow suit in creating an environment that is safe, respectful, inviting, supportive, and accessible in the language they use, the leaders they choose, resources they distribute, and the honors and recognition they bestow. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals have been, are, and will always be a part of Claflin's campus community, which is today, still growing. This fact expresses the importance of offering students' safe spaces for support, community, and growth.

What we ask from Claflin University is to address this community by:

1. Approving the student LGBTQIA+ organization Everyone For Equality (E14E). This would be the only organization on campus with the sole purpose of our community as the prime focus. Allowing a free and safe space for all individuals of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

2. Creating a more inclusive environment, by addressing obvious discriminatory policies within the student handbook, and revising it to account for student gender identities. Include sexual orientation and gender identity in institutional policies.

3. Establish a campus-wide committee to oversee LGBTQIA+ issues across student and employee policies. Engaging faculty, staff, and students from multiple communities increases the likelihood that Claflin will stay ahead of the curve. 

4. Provide institutional funding for a Gender & Sexuality Resource Center which can benefit LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff as well as victims of sexual assault and abuse. *Hundreds of institutions now have LGBTQIA+ campus resource centers staffed by professionals or graduate students, and the kinds of programs and services these centers offer can be provided in other ways even when a stand-alone resource center is not available.

Credit:

https://www.higheredtoday.org/2017/04/10/lgbtq-students-higher-education/

Pennsylvania Research - https://www.gse.upenn.edu/pdf/cmsi/Changing_Face_HBCUs.pdf

LGBTQIA+ - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersexual, Asexual or Allied

HBCU - Historically Black College or University

 



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