The University Assembly voted 9-0 to expand restroom accommodations for members of Cornell’s transgender community and discussed increasing student and faculty representation in administrative discussions on Cornell’s sustainability policy in a meeting Tuesday.
The resolution, which was presented by U.A. executive committee member Ulysses Smith ’14, calls for the conversion of single person bathrooms to be “gender inclusive” and urges Cornell to pursue a formal policy or issue a statement that says “all people can use the restroom that coincides with the gender to which they identify.”
If the resolution is approved by President Elizabeth Garrett, all single person bathrooms at the University would be converted to be “all gender inclusive” by the beginning of the fall 2016 semester, given that it is permitted by law, according to Smith.
The U.A. then voted to take action in January to create a mechanism to appoint individuals to represent the interests of students and faculty members in senior-level University discussions on sustainability policies and climate change.
Faculty representative Prof. Martin Hatch, music, prompted this vote, arguing that the University has been active enough in shaping Cornell’s climate change policy. Hatch cited the weakness of the U.A.’s sustainability committee, which was created in 2007, and the exclusivity of today’s Senior Leaders Climate Action group in his complaint that the Cornell community has not taken meaningful steps toward addressing sustainability issues.
Hatch suggested that the U.A. seek to include more diverse viewpoints in Cornell’s Senior Leaders Climate Action Group — which is currently composed of deans, vice-presidents and other campus leaders — according the Cornell Climate Change website.
In response to Hatch’s proposals, U.A. chair Matthew Battaglia ’16 said the Senior Leaders Climate Action Group will meet later this week to discuss including more members of the Cornell community in their policy discussions.