I sat in the back of the room as the vote was called, nervously clutching the hands of fellow Spectrum members sitting beside me. When the decision was announced, I could not have been happier. I could not have been prouder.
I myself believe that gender is a purely social construct, and understand that for some, biological sex and gender identity don’t match up. No matter what one’s personal beliefs, though, it is simply unacceptable to deny any student protection from harassment, be it on the basis of race, gender identity, or anything else. As Auburn students, we all deserve equal protection by the administration.
One of the points brought up in Senate discussion focused on the housing situation. Senator-at-large Walter Whatley seemed concerned by the possibility of students having transgender roommates without their knowledge or consent. What he failed to recognize is that transgender students have issues with housing already.
Those in the process of transitioning who are still legally listed as their birth sex have no choice but to be placed in a room based on that if they live on-campus. This can lead to uncomfortable situations for both parties involved.
On the other hand, if Auburn finally started to take notice of transgender issues, to promise those students that they would be protected as much as everyone else, then logistical issues such as housing could be actively and openly dealt with.
I extend my gratitude to those who have worked so hard on getting this resolution passed and who will continue to work until it is implemented on Auburn’s campus.