CLGBTQE establishes task force to monitor post-election political landscape

November 15, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In light of the Nov. 8 general election outcome, the Executive Committee of the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity (CLGBTQE) met in an emergency session on Nov. 10 to initiate strategic planning to set in place a proactive program before the Jan. 20, 2017, presidential transition.

The goal of the strategic planning is twofold: It will provide vital information on resources available to the LGBTQ community and will address protections for LGBTQ students, staff and faculty across Penn State.

The commission’s Employee Concerns Committee, Student Concerns Committee, and Transgender Concerns Committee have organized a community forum to address questions and concerns around the impact of the upcoming change in presidential administration on the LGBTQ community.

A panel of experts from the Title IX office, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Penn State Law will discuss potential legal ramifications, review existing resources at the University, and field questions from the public during an information session set for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Flex Theatre in the HUB-Robeson Center.

A Legal and Strategic Response Task Force will also be instituted to monitor the changing political landscape, review laws and policies affecting LGBTQ individuals and families, and draft necessary recommendations and policies to safeguard the community. The task force will include, among others, Amy Dupain Vashaw, CLGBTQE's past chair and Membership Committee chair; Dara Purvis, assistant professor of law, Penn State Law and CLGBTQE’s liaison to the University Faculty Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment; and Borja Gutiérrez, lecturer in Spanish and 2016-18 chair of the Commission on LGBTQ Equity.

“These past few days I have kept Dr. [Marcus] Whitehurst, vice provost for Educational Equity, abreast of our urgent work and intended actions; he has been tremendously supportive and is working diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of our community,” said Gutiérrez. “I will also be meeting in the coming months with other senior University administrators and community leaders to discuss policies and enact measures to provide reassurance and protections for our community.”

The Executive Committee of the CLGBTQE and the newly instituted Legal and Strategic Response Task Force will continue to remain vigilant during these uncertain times and will be proactive in providing support to the LGBTQ community. Anyone with concerns should contact the commission.

“I am thankful for the service and efforts of the University’s senior administration for building a welcoming and safe environment for all LGBTQ Penn Staters, and I ask everyone to join me in commending the hard work and sacrifice of CLGBTQE’s members, committee chairs, officers, and liaisons," said Gutiérrez.

For more information, contact Borja Gutiérrez at 814-863-6587 or bxg207@psu.edu.

Last Updated November 15, 2016