In February, the Student Senate unanimously supported Senate Resolution W-19-01 asking the University to only contract with vendors that do not discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals. Today, Vice President for Inclusion and Equity Jesse Bernal announced changes that would do just that.
This was in response to Executive Directive 2017-07 and Executive Directive 2019-09 signed by Michigan Governors Snyder and Whitmer, respectively, within weeks of each other. These direct the sixteen departments of the State of Michigan to no longer award public dollars to vendors that discriminate against LGBTQ+ Michiganders. The former and current governors, of opposite political parties, both recognize that Michigan must be a leader in nondiscrimination to ensure a prosperous economy that attracts and retains talent.
"Today is a great day for students knowing they attend a University where they can be their full authentic self and a University doing its part to make sure that this right is afforded to them after graduation." - Eric-John Szczepaniak, President-Elect, Student Senate
This effort was headed up by 2018-19 Vice President for Diversity Affairs Rachel Ibarra, Senator Kelly Dowker, and Senator Eric-John Szczepaniak, who will serve as Student Body President in 2019-20. Szczepaniak, who also serves on the Kenowa Hills school board, says this policy will be proposed at Kenowa Hills Public Schools next month.
Eric-John Szczepaniak serves as a trustee for the Kenowa Hills school board and the President of the Michigan Center for Civic Education.