Senate Actions/Administrative Responses
|P&A Senate||5/3/19||Nine- and Ten-Month Staff Vacation Accrual||See link|
|University Senate||5/2/19||Lactation Support Policy Resolution||Pending|
|University Senate||5/2/19||Resolution on Professional Development Around Best Practices for Disability Accommodations and|
Supporting Students with Disabilities
|Student Senate||5/2/18||Resolution on Gender-Inclusive Restrooms||The administration appreciates the Student Senate's resolution supporting the continued creation and accessibility of gender-inclusive facilities; bathrooms, locker rooms, pools, maps, and signage, as well as data collection on gender, passed in May 2018. The current draft of administrative policy, “Equity and Access: Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Names and Pronouns,” states: “Where the University provides housing, restrooms and locker rooms, it will provide housing, restroom and locker room options that are available to individuals of all gender identities.” The draft policy goes before the Policy Advisory Committee and President’s Policy Committee in fall 2019. |
The administration confirms that Facilities Management (FM) no longer uses the term “unisex” on new signage, and, based on consultation with the Transgender Commission, began using the two-person graphics and term “Restroom” approximately three to four years ago. FM is reviewing existing building codes to determine whether there are any regulations the institution is required to comply with, and if there is flexibility they will then bring the topic (use of an image of a toilet only, instead of the two-person stick figures) to the Sign Committee for further consideration.
Additionally, the aforementioned draft policy specifies the following relative to data collection: “University members do not have to respond to requests to disclose sex, sex assigned at birth, or gender identity, except when legally required or when there is a legitimate University-related reason for the request.” The administration encourages the policy owner (Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action) to continue consulting issues relative to data governance and reporting with Enterprise Data Management and Reporting, part of University Institutional Analysis.
Lastly, the administration has also confirmed that in order to install and service Sharps containers in every campus building systemwide, the institution would incur extra costs that are not funded in FM’s Maroon Standards (PDF). These costs would be a challenge with ongoing budget reallocation targets. However, University clinics and medical treatment facilities do feature regularly monitored Sharps containers.
|Student Senate||5/2/18||Resolution on Freedom of Speech||The administration appreciates the Student Senate's resolution regarding freedom of speech and artistic expression, passed in May 2018. As is underscored within the resolution, the University is dedicated to promoting free speech while fostering a welcoming and safe environment where people of diverse viewpoints can express their opinions and disagree with the opinions of others in a respectful manner. The website Academic Freedom and Free Speech at the University of Minnesota (https://provost.umn.edu/academic-freedom) provides a list of official policies and codes of conduct that affirm and address academic freedom and free speech protections and responsibilities at the University. The Student Senate resolution asserts a need for “revisitation” and “clarification” of the expectations of free expression on campus “as evidenced by recurring controversies surrounding speakers visiting campus and the subsequent protests, as well as protests of administrative action.” To that point, the University has been working on an events coordination process (per President Kaler’s charge of October 2017) that is consistent with the First Amendment and also addresses the institution’s desire to promote safe and secure public events while ensuring the best use of institutional resources. Work is underway, starting with the Twin Cities campus, to evaluate event processes, policies and practices. It is clear there is no perfect approach to this evolving issue, therefore, more work still needs to be done to refine any preliminary recommendations and seek feedback from stakeholders. Coordination is currently focused on UMTC. Eventually, were anything systemwide to be developed, consultation with the chancellors would proceed, to incorporate how they are engaging with this topic on their respective campuses, and reflect their distinct needs.|
|Student Senate||3/14/19||Resolution to Institutionalize Voter Registration||The administration commends the Student Senate and Minnesota Student Association (MSA) on the resolution to institutionalize student voter registration, passed in March 2019. One of the most important values taught on our five campuses is the critical nature of civic engagement. Voter turnout for people under age 30 is historically low as compared with other segments of the population. Yet, our democracy thrives best when all voices are represented, and students have an opportunity to play an integral role in shaping our collective future. We applaud efforts already underway by the Student Senate and MSA to work collaboratively with IT, MyU and Academic Support Resources to find the best ways to remind and direct students how and where they can register to vote. It is our hope this will help alleviate some of the barriers which have prevented students from registering to vote in the past, whether they are registering to vote for the first time, or re-registering in a new state. Our shared goal is full participation in our country’s democracy, and supporting robust civic engagement.|
|Student Senate||4/4/19||Resolution on Education Around Best Practices for Disability Accommodations and Supporting Students with Disabilities||See University Senate response|