I would like to thank you for your statement on Nov. 10 about the university moving forward in the aftermath of the recently completed presidential election. But on behalf of the union representing clerical workers on the Charles River Campus, I would like to express a concern. Boston University’s history of openness regarding gender, race, religion and place of origin is commendable. But many people and groups, including this local, spent years fighting for LGBT inclusion in BU’s anti-discrimination policy. Having finally been acknowledged, it is troubling that your statement omitted a group that spent years fighting for recognition.
The BU Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy now includes sexual orientation and gender identity. But this is a very new addition. Former President John Silber refused to include sexual orientation in this policy during his administration. He also shut down the Gay-Straight Alliance at the BU Academy shortly after it was established. These policies were not reversed until after Aram Chobanian became interim president in 2004.
Even after President Silber’s departure, language including gender identity and sexual orientation was not included in contracts negotiated between BU and the UAW in 2004, 2007 and 2011. Only in our most recent contract, 2015, was it included in the article covering “No Discrimination.” We feel it is important that BU continues to recognize all of those you correctly describe as “deeply anxious.”
UAW Local 2324