On March 28, the Student Government Association (SGA) passed a recommendation for the addition of “gender” and “sexual orientation” to be included in the non-discrimination notice. The motion passed with an 11-9 vote.
SGA President Michael Nachtrab explained: “This resolution will be presented to Interim President Timothy Trainor. This lets him know what the student body wants.” The resolution was presented to Trainor on April 7.
“This is really neat because students can vote and present their issues. It’s great that this individual wants inclusivity on this campus,” stated Nachtrab.
The “individual” that presented and created this resolution is junior Sean Munar, and his overall goal of adding gender and sexual orientation is stated in his recommendation:
“Mount St. Mary’s University should resolve to ensure that all students may be afforded the same opportunities regardless of their sexual orientation or their gender identity; [and] Mount St. Mary’s University should uphold the pillar of community that the Mount prides itself on by showing that it stands with the members of the Mount community regardless of any aspect of personal identity.”
Munar first presented this recommendation on Feb. 13. The resolution included other issues such as the protection of a minority group.
Dean Ken McVearry, who oversees the SGA, stated, “It was a close vote, I don’t expect our population to be any different than national debates. It’s great the students are caring about the conversation and brought a national issue to light.” McVearry was proud that students were able to pass this motion, while discussing a touchy issue in a polite and intellectual way.
“I’m against discrimination of any kind so I think that the addition to the notice should be made,” said a senior student.
Trainor could not totally comment on the resolution, but he stated that, “I do know that I am committed to having a campus climate in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect. I believe the Mount does well with this but we can always improve. I just received this resolution late last week and have some further research to do before deciding how to go forward with this.”
McVearry further added that, “If SGA can dialogue over difficult issues and pass resolutions or recommendations in a politically-contentious environment and transitional political time on campus, I’m excited to see what SGA will bring next year.”
“I think the addition of gender and sexual orientation to the notice is necessary. I think because the Mount is a Catholic school it is especially necessary because we should be kind and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” stated another senior student.
Photo courtesy of Alex Krall.