By BTL Staff
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – At its Nov. 18 meeting, the Washtenaw Community College (WCC) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to expand protections for transgender, lesbian, bisexual and gay students, faculty and staff for the first time in over 20 years.
This historic action is the result of decisive action by WCC President Rose Bellanca, at the direction of the Trustees, following public remarks from Jim Toy Community Center namesake Jim Toy, and long time LGBT advocate Andre Wilson at the October WCC Board of Trustees meeting.
“WCC plays a crucial role serving our community as a strong economic driver,” said Brad O’Conner, President of the Jim Toy Community Center. “It is important that policies at WCC reflect the values of our diverse community. We applaud President Bellanca and her team for their swift action to bring four policy change recommendations to the Board in just three weeks, and we thank the Board of Trustees immensely for their decisive action to protect students, faculty and staff from discrimination.”
This is the third success of the Jim Toy Community Center in the last 18 months working with local government entities to ensure full protection inclusive of gender identity and gender expression. Washtenaw County updated the county’s non-discrimination policy in September of 2013 and the city of Ann Arbor updated TLBG protections in October of 2014.
“Credit should also be given to the WCC Political Science Club and OutSpace students who supported this effort internally at the college by sending letters to Trustees and especially to those who spoke at the meeting in support of these policy changes,” said Jim Toy. “These students showed leadership and helped give the trustees the support they needed to make these historic changes possible.”
Policies updated by the WCC Board of Trustees include: Admissions; Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct Code; Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment; and the Policy on Access, Success and Equity for Diverse People.