They won’t get anywhere

And it is a shame.

But the MSSU group Project EQUALITY deserves a hearing and deserves some respect. We don’t think they will get either, and we think they should get more aggressive  But that is up to them.

Here, we will be, we think, the first media to print in full an open letter to the MSSU Board of Governors.

Their letter:

To the MSSU Board of Governors:

Many thanks for lending your ear to Project EQUALITY while we discuss a few of our concerns. We are a student-led alliance committed to seeing sexual orientation and gender expression added to Missouri Southern’s non-discrimination policy.

We would like to point out that federal and state law neither require not prohibit the adoption of the requested amendments. Many neighboring institutions have already taken the initiative to specifically take a stand against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression in their non-discrimination policies. To provide the Board with a few of the many examples, our research indicates that The University of Missouri, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Missouri State University, Pittsburg State University, and the University of Arkansas all include clauses regarding sexual orientation and/or gender expression in their non-discrimination statements. We feel strongly that the addition of sexual orientation and gender expression to our policy would demonstrate commitment to the creation of a progressive, inclusive educational atmosphere.

We understand that plans may be in place to assemble a committee tha twould research and analyze the issues regarding possible revision of the university’s non-discrimination statement. A great many members of the Missouri Southern community are invested in our cause, and the Board should know that this move toward a broader understanding of the current situation is sincerely appreciated. However, given that the interest in the Board’s response to the issue at hand is widespread and mounting, we ask that the Board make all minutes from these committee meetings available in an easily accessible online location within one day of each committee meeting. Furthermore, in an effort to understand not only relevant legal concerns but the collective sentiment on our campus, it is evident that the inclusion of a student representative is vital to gaining a comprehensive view of the situation. Should the Board find these two small requests agreeable, we ask that you make this known by the end of today’s meeting.

Project EQUALITY and the Board of Governors share a deep concern for the welfare of MSSU and the well-being of all members of the Southern community. We share a hope for a university environment where all are safe and welcome. For this very reason, we peacefully and resolutely insist on the incorporation of sexual orientation and gender expression into the MSSU non-discrimination statement. We await your response.

Sincerely,

Project EQUALITY Leadership

Ruth Eichinger

Ashley Trotnic

Ivy Love

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