Emory Report

 September 22, 1997

 Volume 50, No. 5

President's Commission on Lesbian,
Gay and Bisexual Concerns

Commission Co-chair Anne Rector called the first meeting of the school year to order on Sept. 15 in the conference room of the Administration Building. She then introduced Robert Ethridge, associate vice president for Equal Opportunity Programs, as guest speaker.

Ethridge spoke in detail about EOP and University policies on discrimination and harassment, and he explained the process through which complaints are handled. He also said employees with a complaint are free to bypass his office and go straight to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but that office is powerless to deal with sexual orientation issues since no federal law outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Ethridge also said that once a complainant retains an attorney, all matters are referred to the Emory General Counsel, and the EOP office is no longer involved. Ethridge then answered a number of questions.

The commission approved minutes of the July 23 meeting submitted by secretary Jason Chue.

Saralyn Chestnut, director of the Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Life, opened discussion of a report to submit to President Bill Chace detailing the commission's work of the past year. Chestnut agreed to e-mail a copy of the preliminary report to all commission members for review before submitting it to Chace.

The commission then discussed the proper time for conducting its survey of the campus climate with regard to LGB issues. It was decided to administer the survey at the beginning of the spring semester.

In discussion of other business, Chestnut expressed frustration at her inability to contact the Board of Trustees to discuss the same-sex commitment ceremony incident this past summer at Oxford College and to talk with the board about its pending decision on that issue at its meeting in November. Chestnut and Gary Hauk, secretary of the University, agreed to work together to arrange such a meeting before November.

Rector then agreed to contact University Senate President Bill Cody to ask the senate to vote on a resolution expressing support for the commission's stand on the Oxford incident and the issue of chapel use for same-sex commitment ceremonies.

The commission approved the third Monday of each month at 4 p.m. as the time for its meetings. Annemarie Poyo was elected financial officer for the commission, and the suggestion was raised to add a "T" to the commission's name to include representation of transgendered individuals.

-Michael Terrazas

Return to September 22, 1997 contents page