Monday night, the Central Student Government Assembly met to consider a resolution to expand the University’s non-discrimination policy.
The resolution calls for amending the current non-discrimination policy to include provisions to protect students from discrimination based on relationship status or sexual expression.
Though the policy currently protects individuals from discrimination based on marital status, the resolution argues that broader definitions of relationship status must be included to protect the extensive range of mutual romantic, emotional and sexual relationships between adults.
In addition, while the current policy protects individuals from discrimination based on gender identity, the resolution calls for amending the policy to further protect individuals from discrimination based on how individuals act on their sexual attractions to others, termed as “sexual expression.”
CSG President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy senior, authored the resolution along with Rackham Student Government Rep. Christopher Baker Tom. Dishell said the two collaborated on the resolution after it first passed through Rackham Student Government.
“The resolution originally went through Rackham, but after Chris brought it to my attention, I realized that this issue is something that applies to every student,” Dishell said in an interview with The Michigan Daily.
Non-discrimination policy has also been a topic of discussion on the Ann Arbor City Council. To address concerns related to discrimination in housing and employment, the City Council passed a resolution last month that expanded its non-discrimination policy to include provisions protecting gender expression and identity.
Tom said he had anecdotally heard of discrimination based on sexual expression and relationship status at the University. He also heard of individuals who kept their relationship expression and identities private, fearing negative repercussions in their career advancement, for example.
“Hopefully we can continue to gain wide spread support to change our non-discrimination policy because no student should be discriminated against because of their identity,” Dishell said.
CSG will vote on the resolution next week.