LGBTQIA rights resolution approved by the Academic Senate

The El Camino College Academic Senate voted unanimously to approve a resolution affirming that the rights and lives of transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming students and faculty matter.

The resolution was presented for a second time by First Year Experience counselor Salvador Navarro, who is also one of the LGBTQIA+ Safe-Zone Project chairs along with history and American studies professor Hong Herrera Thomas. The resolution was presented at the previous meeting on Tuesday, March 1.

The resolution was given feedback by some senate faculty members at the previous meeting where Navarro and Herrera Thomas made changes to the resolution to also include recognition of non-binary students and employees in addition to transgender and gender non-conforming people.

The first paragraph of the resolution mentions Texas Gov. Abbott’s letter directing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate gender transitioning procedures as “child abuse” under Texas law and the Florida House Bill 1557 prohibiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels.

Some senate members, like Ali Ahmadpour, recommended that there is no need to reference states like Texas and Florida because “it validates them,” rather making the statement more general so it could be “more effective and timeless.”

Ahmadpour further brought up in the discussion that the country, not just El Camino College, is being too reactive and not proactive in getting in front of the issues plaguing the LGBTQIA community.

In response to Ahmadpour, Navarro said, “while I think it is important to keep it universal and general, I think it is also important to give it historical context as to why we are bringing this up. If this wouldn’t have happened, maybe I wouldn’t have written this resolution.”


Editor’s Note: Added proper byline on March 16, 2022 at 9:36 a.m.