Wednesday’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) meeting focused on discussions about how to support gender inclusivity on and off of Stanford’s campus.
A bill in support of trans, intersex and non-binary students was put forward by aeronautics and astronautics Ph.D. candidate and Diversity & Advocacy Committee Co-Chair Ana Tarano B.S. ’13 M.S. ’15.
The bill affirms the GSC’s intention “to continue supporting and confirming the beautifully rich and fluid gender identities of the graduate student community and beyond.” lt also resolves that the GSC “commend[s] trans, intersex, and/or non-binary people who live, question, accept, challenge, love, celebrate, and/or fight for their identities at the face of gender binary and erasure.”
In the bill, the Council commits to work in support of gender inclusivity in six ways, including by “providing funds to volunteer student organizations who support graduate students whose gender identities include but are not limited to trans, intersex, and/or non-binary,” and by “advocating for the hiring and retention of trans, intersex, and/or non-binary professors and staff and/or professors whose work supports trans, intersex, and/or non-binary studies and/or rights.”
Discussion on the bill also focused on other methods of support — GSC member and theater and performance studies Ph.D. candidate Kari Barclay said the Council should consider encouraging the University to hire trans professors and conduct research on trans rights.
The bill was first proposed at the Oct. 24 GSC meeting by co-chair and biology Ph.D. candidate Amy Tarangelo. It was then seconded by biophysics Ph.D. candidate Melanie Malinas.
Tarangelo also provided brief updates on working with the Diversity & Advocacy Committee (DAC) on the formation of a mental health taskforce, of which Tarangelo will be a part. Council members Barclay, education Ph.D. candidate David Song and mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate Abisola Kusimo expressed interest in joining as well.
Later in the meeting, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Ph.D. candidate Gabby Badica, who serves as GSC Social Chair, discussed several upcoming events, including the Council’s annual “Welcome Back Party,” which is in the process of receiving University approval.
Badica also discussed the GSC’s annual Thanksgiving celebration, one of the Council’s “most popular and signature events,” usually attended by more than 1,800 graduate students. She said she is working with vegan students to ensure them suitable dining options.
Badica also described working with Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs) in celebration of Chinese New Year.
Barclay announced an event based on “addressing the culture of overwork at Stanford,” tentatively scheduled for Nov. 13. He said DAC is also planning a “diversity summit” for the winter quarter.
The GSC granted funding to the Graduate Catholic Student Association. Second-year Stanford Law student Mary Hwang attended the meeting as a prospective representative.
Contact Charlie Curnin at ccurnin ‘at’ stanford.edu.