Sul Ross the First Texas University to Approve New Student Identity Policy
By Justice Santa Cruz, Skyline Student Politics Correspondent
ALPINE_ Sul Ross State University has broken new ground as the first university in Texas to approve a new policy that will allow students to officially identify by the gender they prefer.
The announcement, which could be at odds with pending Texas legislation regarding student athletes, was made at the first meeting of the university’s Sexual and Gender Alliance Club.
During the meeting, an incident was recounted involving the denial of a student’s request to change their personal information to match their identity in the school system because they hadn’t legally changed that information.
Dr. Savannah Williamson, the club’s sponsor and coordinator for ODEI, notified Sul Ross State University’s President, Pete Gallego, of the situation. Williamson drafted a full policy that would allow any student who wished to change their name, gender markers, or pronouns even if they hadn’t yet done so legally.
Williamson said the policy was important because it validated who students are and improved their safety.
Williamson sent her final draft of the policy to Gallego, and it was swiftly sent to the university’s lawyers. Soon after, the policy was approved, making Sul Ross the first university in the Texas State University System to allow students to change their information.
The remaining half-hour of the meeting was spent tossing ideas back and forth for fundraisers and student gatherings, but the tone was set: Sul Ross is working towards being a community where everyone feels welcomed, heard, and safe.
The S.A.G.A. Club already has plans to help students on campus learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community by spreading awareness on important national dates in the hopes of bringing everyone on campus, students, and faculty, together.