BY DRAKE RHONE
Drake University’s non-discrimination statement has a couple proposed changes, including the establishment of pregnancy as its own separate category and the addition of contact information for the Title IX coordinator and the human resources department.
Revised last in August 2015, the current statement reads:
An On Campus press release noted the changes, saying that while pregnancy might fall under some of the sections already established by the non-discrimination statement, the administration felt that it was important to include it in its own category.
As per the bylaws of the university, the changes are available for view and discussion for 14 days after posting before the statement is officially amended.
Deshauna Carter, one of the diversity and inclusion senators, said that she is a fan of the changes.
“Having the Title IX supervisor’s contact information will give people a resource for when they feel they have been discriminated upon,” Carter said. “The addition of pregnancy is great because it adds extra support to the female faculty and staff on campus.”
On the other side of the issue, Kaylah Harrington, a sophomore member of the Coalition of Black Students, said that while she felt the changes to the statement were a step in the right direction, they are not enough.
“It’s a good start,” Harrington said, “but anyone could put out a statement and have a system where those that go against the statement are reprimanded. I would like to see actual work going in behind the things addressed in the statement. Drake University is all about diversity, inclusivity and maintaining a good campus climate. I would like to see them do something about it.”
Harrington said that the statement might not be enough to stop some of the incidents of discrimination that minority groups at Drake may feel.
“I don’t really want to speak for everyone in my organization, but there have definitely been some harmful microaggressions that many of us have experienced on campus, to say the least,” Harrington said. “I don’t know if it would be under the non-discrimination statement because some people are ignorant to the harm of micro-aggressions or that they are even doing something wrong.”
While Harrington spoke of the statement not being enough to bring positive change to campus, she also said that the statement was important “because it lets the students of marginalized communities gain a better understanding of where the university stands on issues that may threaten their comfort and well-being.”
Carter said she agreed that the statement was an important document to have on record.
“It is 100 percent necessary to have a non-discrimination statement here at Drake University,” Carter said. “Since this is a mostly white, cisgender campus, we need to make sure that people who don’t fit those identities are supported by policies.”
However, like Harrington, Carter said that there is more that can be done.
“This is a great policy improvement, but I think there are practices and programs here at Drake that still need to be improved,” Carter said. “One thing that I am really passionate about is the lack of scholarships for marginalized identities here at Drake.”
Concerns or comments regarding the changes to the nondiscrimination statement can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org up until Nov. 13.