Intersectionality is a necessary concept those at Weber State University should choose to understand and educate oneself about, including faculty, staff, and most importantly, students. When explaining who you are, one may first talk about their major, then their ethnicity, and then finally how they personally identify in regards to sexual orientation. Weber State University has student senators who represent a constituency on campus such as the first two things I mentioned (major and ethnicity).
The current WSUSA bylaws state any officially recognized constituency may receive senate representation. Constituencies are defined as “any group of Weber State University students who share a unique community that can be legally tracked within the campus computer system, commonly known as Banner.”
This type of tracking (Banner) is considered public record and as a result, questions cannot ask things in regards to sexual identity. Of all the schools in the United States that utilize Banner, only five ask questions in regards to sexual identity. Many of the students who fall under the LGBT+ spectrum are not completely accepting of whom they are, and because of this they are what others know as “closeted.” This information on Banner, if it were to be asked, could be tied back to a specific student’s name and the sensitive information they would prefer to protect would be comprised.
No one more than myself knows how important it is to have a seat for LGBT+ students. Personally, when explaining who I am I feel it’s necessary to include my sexual orientation first because that deals a lot with my values and the person I am. After that come my ethnicity and major.
When writing responses to any challenges the WSUSA Supreme Court receives, the justices’ responsibility is to interpret the bylaws and constitution as it relates to the questions they are being asked. In exercising their duties as WSUSA Supreme Court Justices, and through much deliberation and lengthy conversations (including interviews with various parties) the LGBT+ seat was ruled unconstitutional, specifically due to the limitations and parameters of Banner at Weber State University. Although the justices agreed having this senate seat in place to represent the LGBT+ community at Weber State would be beneficial and is extremely important, it was more important for this seat to be created correctly and align with the Banner system at Weber State. My hopes are that in the future students stand up and use their voice for positives and make a change rather than bad mouth and rant about the decisions they do not like.
With that being said, this is a decision made by the Supreme Court over seven months ago. From the viewpoint of someone who is a part of WSUSA leadership it seems The Signpost is consistently withholding stories and adding them all at once to make WSUSA leadership look bad. I ask The Signpost in the future to gather information accurately and make the expected effort to assemble said information from all sides rather than having sources that have been one sided or planted. The article in regards to the LGBT+ senator chair made the WSUSA Supreme Court Justices look like the “bad guys” and didn’t include information or insight from a WSUSA justice or their advisor. There were no efforts made to reach out to the Supreme Court and it is unfortunate the story that was printed was so biased and inaccurate. Many think the WSUSA Supreme Court can independently change the WSUSA Constitution but that is not in the scope of our duties or abilities.
One of the three justices of the Supreme Court who identifies as LGBT, Richard Campos.