LGBTQ Advisory Committee

Mission

To provide guidance to the Diversity Advisory Committee on issues affecting the LGBTQ community at UCA and to assist the DAC promotion of an environment of openness and inclusion on campus in compliance with the university’s diversity statement.

Background

The LGBTQ community needs additional advocacy for diversity and inclusion on campus. This summer, faculty in the College of Liberal Arts wrote an open letter to the president suggesting ways to foster an LGBTQ-friendly environment at UCA. President Davis met with the drafters of this open letter in August and has expressed interest in working to better recognize and meet the needs of LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.

Rationale

This standing sub-committee is necessary to coordinate and extend the work of existing UCA resources and committees. Since LGBTQ inclusion and gender are both explicitly protected by the UCA diversity statement, the UCA Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC) does consider some of the issues related to this committee’s stated charge. The proposed LGBTQ Advisory Committee would accomplish a focused and incisive need that the DAC fulfills in relation to Board Policy 525. Though there is an affinity group for LGBTQ faculty and staff, this affinity group exists primarily to offer a safe space for networking among LGBTQ faculty and staff on campus. Such an organization is not responsible for institutional support, advocacy, or official reports. Similarly, though several student organizations (RSOs) support members of the LGBTQ community on campus (most explicitly, PRISM), these organizations primarily serve roles of community building and activity programming, not for official university policy-making or structure and institutional support. The explicit charge of the DAC LGBTQ Advisory Committee would complement these existing groups on campus, but offers a necessary institutional-level structure to empower the work of inclusion and affirmation.

Alignment to UCA

As an institution, UCA is vocal about its institutional commitment to diversity. AVID, the university motto, includes the word diversity itself, and the UCA Diversity Statement specifically lists gender and sexual orientation as valued dimensions of our diverse community and of the human experience. The LGBTQ Advisory Committee will support and enhance the university’s mission by reviewing, assessing, and making recommendations regarding policies, programs, services, and resources for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Policies, practices, programs, services, and institutional structures should evolve with the changing and emerging needs of our increasingly diverse campus community.

Charge

  • To complete the annual report for the Campus Pride Index;
  • To enhance awareness and understanding of the factors which contribute to LGBTQ inclusion;
  • To review, identify, and implement training and educational initiatives for LGBTQ inclusion and affirmation; and
  • To advise campus leadership on issues impacting the well-being and the work and learning environments of the LGBTQ community.

Membership

Permanent members:

  • Faculty/Staff Advisor for PRISM: Allen Thomas
  • Director of Office of Diversity and Community, or designee: Angela Jackson
  • Director of Gender Studies: Taine Duncan
  • UCA Counseling Center designee: Reesa Ramsahai
  • Student life designee: Arnie Story
  • SGA Diversity Subcommittee designee
  • SGA Executive Staff member

Rotating members:

  • Appointed by the Diversity Advisory Committee from members of the committee.

Meetings

Monthly

Reports to

VP of Institutional Diversity via DAC; Generates an annual report for the committee and dissemination; Generates the annual CPI report