RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE REPORT OF TASK FORCE ON
LESBIAN, GAY, AND BISEXUAL ISSUES
The following recommendations are taken from the Report of the Task
Force on Lesbian, gay, and Bisexual Issues dated May 20, 1993.
The President, Provost, and Vice President for Arts, Sciences and Technology should make a public statement of their commitment to achieving the goals of this report. This report should be disseminated throughout the Tufts community, including to the Trustees.
Based upon the work of the Task Force, these goals can be achieved through the implementation of the following recommendations:
- A single anti-discrimination policy should be developed for all units of the University as soon as possible. The President, Provost, and Vice President for Arts, Sciences, and Technology should systematically inform and educate the community about this policy, the venues for redress of discrimination and harassment, and the generic forms of disciplinary action expected.
- Education dealing with human sexual diversity and university policy should be provided to all staff, faculty, and students. In addition to orientation programs for new faculty, students, and staff, the University should provide on-going support for its members in handling issues of sexual-identity diversity.
- Employment opportunities should explicitly invite lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people to apply for faculty and staff positions. In order to reach the largest possible audience, hiring and recruitment should be advertised in national and regional gay media and newsletters of appropriate professional caucuses in addition to mainstream publications.1
- Publications (including those of Admission, alumni/ae, academic and administrative units, student services, athletics, recreation) must reflect the presence of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals at Tufts. Representations of campus life, such as pictures, press releases, and notices of events and speakers, should include those which openly acknowledge the presence of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and groups that receive the full support of the University.2
- The current half-time position of Director of the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Resource Center is inadequate to meet the needs of the Arts and Sciences undergraduates, to say nothing of the demands placed upon it by other schools and units of the University. Resources should be provided as soon as possible to expand these services beyond their current levels. Possible options include converting the current position into a full-time position; increasing the number of part-time positions; providing resources to other schools and units to provide services.
- The Counseling Center should continue to have gay or lesbian-identified staff members available to do intake consultations, and should continue to make it known that such persons are on staff. Health Services should be encouraged to do so as well.
CURRICULUM, TEACHING, ADVISING ISSUES
- The experience of human sexual diversity and of lesbian, bisexual, and gay people should be integrated into all relevant areas of undergraduate and graduate curricula, paralleling material about the experiences of women, racial and ethnic minorities, economic classes, and other groups that have been previously omitted from the curriculum.
- Studies in sexuality and gender, as well as lesbian, bisexual, and gay studies are valuable and legitimate areas of research, teaching and scholarship. Such research, teaching, and scholarship should be judged on its merits for hiring, compensation, promotion, and tenure of faculty, and for evaluation of scholarly performance of students.
- In order to ensure overall fairness in merit reviews, the Vice President and senior Deans should expressly communicate to the Tenure and Promotion Committee and to the Departments that lesbian, gay, and bisexual studies and studies in gender and sexuality are valuable and legitimate areas for research, teaching, and scholarship; that their quality will be judged as in any other area of scholarly activity; and that engaging in such activities will not put candidates for tenure and promotion at risk.
- The development of courses, curricula, and research in lesbian and gay studies should be encouraged. The Vice President should encourage the Development Office to identify possible sources of support for lesbian, bisexual, and gay studies. As a means of developing interest in the field, grants should be made available to qualified faculty on the model , for example, of those in American Studies and World Civilizations. A visiting professorship should be established, rotating among different disciplines, to bring recognized leaders in lesbian and gay studies to Tufts.
- Within the next academic year, the Vice President should appoint a faculty committee to explore the appropriateness of developing a concentration, minor, or certificate program in lesbian, gay, and bisexual studies.
- Total library allocations should be increased to provide for the purchase of lesbian and gay studies resources, apart from existing funds already subsumed under departmental allocations.
- A guide to curricular resources -- courses, faculty research, library resources -- on lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues should be generated and distributed as soon as possible, and updated regularly.
- In addition to orientation programs for new personnel, the University should provide ongoing education and support on sexual identity issues for faculty in their roles as teachers and advisers, and for student tutors. These services should be available through appropriate offices and units, including the Deans' offices, Center for Teaching and Advising (CENTA), Academic Resources Center (ARC), and Experimental College.
- Given the complexity of sexual identity issues in career and graduate and professional school decision-making, the University should ensure that support and information is provided for staff and faculty engaged in career and graduate and profession school counseling.
- University offices and student organizations must ensure that their activities meet the needs of their constituents who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. The diversity among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people must be recognized and affirmed.3
- All students, irrespective of sexual orientation, must have full access to campus resources. In order to ensure that gay, lesbian, and bisexual students have access to spiritual life, the Chaplains should be encouraged to continue to bring lesbian, gay, and bisexual clergy and denominational groups (Dignity, Metropolitan Community Church, Am Tikva, Integrity) onto campus.
- A faculty, staff, and student committee should examine, within the next academic year, the implications of sexual orientation on housing policies and procedures including various housing options for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and gay-sensitive students vis a vis individual rooms, floors, sections of dormitories, a separate gay house.
- All students should receive a brochure explaining the University's policies, procedures and resources surrounding issues of sexual orientation diversity, paralleling brochures which currently are provided on bigotry and sexual harassment.4
- As a matter of fundamental equity, the University should provide all benefits, including health benefits, to employees irrespective of sexual orientation, as soon as possible.
- The University should adopt a definition of domestic partnership that is nondiscriminatory toward same-sex couples, for example accepting as evidence of partnership an affidavit that states these two persons hold mutual responsibility for each other's welfare and for the welfare of any dependent children to be covered by benefits.
- The University should ensure that issues of sexual identity are considered by the Benefits Advisory Group, and that lesbian, gay and bisexual employees receive equitable treatment.
- University resources available to married employees and their spouses and children, such as libraries, athletic facilities, Tufts Day Care, Magic Circle, and Children's School, should continue to be made available to same-sex domestic partners and should be publicized to these employees.
- Human Resources should routinely publicize all current policies, procedures, and benefits regarding domestic partnerships.
- Orientation for new staff and faculty should continue to provide lists of resources and options for services and support for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people at Tufts.
- Human Resources should offer rewards and incentives to staff members who help their units become sensitive to issue of sexual-identity diversity.
- The Development Office should take a more positive stance to lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues in all of its public relations, fund-raising, and development efforts. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual alumni/ae activities, including those of Pride on the Hill Foundation, should be supported and made visible to the entirety of Tufts community.
- The University should make all outside agencies with which it has joint or cooperative academic programs aware of Tufts' nondiscrimination policy. Further, the University should encourage these agencies to develop similar nondiscrimination policies and practices and to implement them.
- Corporations and government and community agencies which do not have written policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and procedures to implement them, should be prohibited from on-campus employment or recruiting.
- The University should move aggressively to fulfill the Arts and Sciences resolution of October 29, 1990, regarding ROTC policy with regard to sexual orientation.5 It should immediately include the following notice to accompany information concerning ROTC in the Arts and Sciences Bulletin and elsewhere, assuming the ban one excluding gay and lesbian students from enrolling is still in force in the Fal of 1993 (In the event a different discrimination policy replaces the current Department of Defense policy, a comparable warning statement should be published.)
- Students should note that ROTC regulations do not conform to the nondiscrimination policy of Tufts University which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
- In accordance with Department of Defense policy, students wishing to enroll in ROTC programs may be asked whether they are homosexual and may not be eligible to enroll if they answer "yes."
- Failure to divulge one's sexual orientation may result in charges of fraudulent enlistment which carry severe criminal penalties.
- Students who have, in good faith, answered the question in the negative, and later discover they are homosexual, may be disenrolled and required to repay scholarship funds.
- Students who face this problem should contact the Tufts Office of Equal Opportunity.6
- Establish an awards committee, with representatives appointed by the Vice President, the Equal Education Opportunity Committee, and the student government, to honor annually a student, staff member, and faculty member who have made exemplary efforts to combat sexual orientation discrimination and harassment and to foster the goals of this report.
- Develop a year-long campus colloquim on lesbian, gay, and bisexual studies for the 1994-1995 academic year, drawing participants from on- and off-campus, to provide a context for discussion of the issues generated in this Report.
Note. The endnotes above are numbered differently than they appear in the full report of the Task Force, because the recommendations appear in section 5 of the report and are preceded by other notes. In the full report the above are numbered 24-29.
- See Appendix 9 in full report, "Selected List of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Caucuses of Scholarly Organizations."
- These might include photographs of students wearing TLGBC insignia; profiles of faculty who teach lesbian, bisexual or gay studies; posters of LGB Resource Center-sponsored events; etc.
- For example, University offices and student groups should consider phrasing announcements and invitations to include wording such as "same-sex couples are welcome and encouraged to attend."
- These brochures entitled "Sexual Harassment: You're Not Alone," "Policy on Sexual Harassment," "Affirmative Action Hiring Guidelines for Supervisors," all distributed by the Office Equal Opportunity; "There's something a bunch of your classmates would like to tell you..."distributed by the Fletcher Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student Association. Also see Appendix 3 of the full report, "'Equal Employment Opportunity,' Employee Handbook, 1992"; and "Policies Procedures, and Responsibilities," The Pachyderm, 1992-1993.
- See Appendix 7 in full report, "Faculty Resolution on ROTC," October 29, 1990.
- See Appendix 8 in full report, "Proposed Notice Concerning ROTC," which explains the particular wording used.