SGA tables resolution that would support making WKU more inclusive for transgender students

Taylor Harrison

A controversial topic once again stirred up debate at the Student Government Association’s Tuesday night senate meeting.

A resolution, written by student senator Kevin Asbery, would support making WKU more inclusive for the transgender and gender nonconforming community.

The resolution was ultimately tabled after the debate.

Asbery said, while addressing the senate, that this issue was recently brought to his attention.

“I’ve been largely unaware of like the issues facing the transgender and the gender nonconforming community…at Western Kentucky University,” Asbery said.

According to the resolution, it will encourage the university and all departments to revise policies to include transgender and gender-nonconforming students. 

It also states that WKU is lacking in adequate gender-neutral facilities. These include gender-neutral housing options and gender-neutral restroom facilities.

“There are no gender-neutral housing options really on campus,” Asbery said. “So, you have to choose between male and female and some people at our university don’t identify as either, or some people were born female and identify as male.”

Asbery said that ideally, Housing and Residence Life would change their policies to include gender-neutral housing options.

 “So, I encourage you all to pass this resolution and move toward being a more accepting university,” Asbery said.  

Critics of the resolution said it was too vague, that it would be difficult to regulate as far as housing and that there could be a problem with safety for transgender students.

“I feel like this is too vague,” said Kevin Adams, also an SGA senator. “It is too important to just vote on this today…”  

Asbery said he left the resolution vague on purpose. That way, it could apply to different departments at the university.

Though the resolution was tabled, it will be brought up again for a vote at next week’s meeting. One of SGA’s members suggested bringing someone in from Student Identity Outreach to discuss the issue.

Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, SGA passed two bills allocating funding for study abroad scholarship award money as well as scholar development grant award money.

The other bill passed regarded funding for the “Racial and Cultural Diversity within WKU’s Greek System” event.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 28 at the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility.