Update on the effect of House Bill 2 on our campus
Dear Appalachian Community:
On March 29, our message to the community shared how UNC General Administration (GA) is working diligently to review and analyze House Bill 2 passed by the NC General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday, March 23. This legislation has raised many concerns for our community and we continue working closely with our colleagues in GA to better understand the implications for our campus.
While we work to better understand the new legislation and its effects on UNC campuses, one thing that has not changed in light of this legislation is Appalachian’s commitment to a diverse, inclusive, safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. We know and understand this is a time of great uncertainty for many in our community, especially our friends and colleagues who identify as LGBTQ, and we reach out today to underscore our commitment to the wellbeing of each member of the Appalachian Community.
One example of our continued commitment to an environment of support and inclusion was shared with faculty, staff and students on Friday, April 1. The Registrar's Office, in collaboration with Information Technology Services, has made the necessary modifications for phase one of our Preferred First Name initiative to be visible in Banner Self Service. This initiative allows a student to indicate a preferred first-name that will display on selected pages accessible from the Faculty Services and Advisor menus. It now allows faculty and staff access to these preferred first names so that they may refer to students as they wish to be recognized. While we are excited about the progress that has been made, we realize there is further development needed. With that in mind, a working group has been established to continue with phase two of this important initiative. With more than 10,700 students having indicated a preferred first name, including transgender students whose legal names do not reflect their gender identity, this initiative is important progress in respecting the dignity of all members of our community.
In last Tuesday’s message about House Bill 2, we provided a listing of single-occupancy restrooms on campus that can be found here: http://edc.appstate.edu/single-occupancy-restrooms. Appalachian is a special place with people who care and resources to provide assistance. We understand the fear, stress and hurt many in our community are experiencing and resources like the Henderson Springs LGBT Center, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance, the Office of Multicultural Student Development and the Counseling Center are all here to support and assist you. As we learn more we will continue to provide updates.
Sheri N. Everts, Chancellor
Darrell Kruger, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Cindy Wallace, Vice Chancellor, Student Development