Dear NC State Community:
As the end of the 2015-2016 academic year quickly approaches, most in our Wolfpack community are focused on completing their work before the semester comes to a close. For more than 5,000 of our students, this is an especially exciting time as they prepare to graduate and take their NC State experiences off campus to change the world.
In the midst of this always important and often stressful time of the year, many individuals on our campus — along with thousands across the entire University of North Carolina system — are also concerned about campus impacts and broader effects of House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, as well as the governor’s more recent executive order No. 93.
The new law does not affect NC State’s strong equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policy; we remain steadfast in our commitment to welcoming and supporting all people. As I included in my recent annual letter to the United States Department of Education, NC State’s policies ensure that all students, faculty and staff are protected from discrimination, regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.
The law does contain specifics on the use of multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities, leaving many wondering how the university intends to enforce these provisions. First, NC State already uses appropriate signage on all restroom facilities — that will not change. Second, neither the law nor the executive order contains any provisions concerning enforcement.
It is important to know, however, that NC State has many non-gender-specific, single-occupant toilets and shower facilities that are lockable, safe and available to the campus community (in addition to those in residence halls and athletic buildings). A map of the bathroom locations can be found on the GLBT Center’s website at https://oied.ncsu.edu/glbt/gender-inclusive-restrooms/. Any specific questions about the law and its impacts at NC State can be directed to our university’s Office of General Counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will continue working with Provost Arden and others on campus to gather information about the many real impacts of this legislation at NC State, and I will share these details with President Spellings as she continues to address this issue with state leaders.
I want to be clear to all students, faculty and staff: Each one of you is an important part of this university. We are making every effort to ensure that everyone in our community is safe and supported and has the opportunity to thrive.
At NC State, we will continue striving to ensure an environment that supports and encourages the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions, while also ensuring that all students, faculty and staff are treated with dignity and respect.