Senator: Up the D in D1 classes

  D1 classes are intended to cover diversity issues in the US. However, there is one aspect of diversity that some say is missing: LGBTQ issues.   Student Government Association (SGA) Senator Kathrine Mansfield has been working with the Academic Affairs Committee and faculty on a resolution that asks D1 classes to focus on lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-gender and questioning (LGBTQ) issues in the classroom.   The resolution was passed at SGA’s senate meeting on Nov. 8 with little to no objections from other senators, Mansfield said. The next step is to work with faculty to implement the resolution, she said.   Mansfield has been in discussions with Wanda Heading-Grant, the chief diversity officer of the University, to evaluate D1 and D2 courses in order to see what students are taking away from the classes, and how they can be improved.   “We are trying to figure out what the outcomes are,” Mansfield said. “[Heading-Grant’s] general idea is that we need to figure out what the outcomes are before we can begin to incorporate [the resolution].”   There has not been much resistance from faculty members to consider adding LGBTQ education into their lesson plans, she said.   Hopes are that the resolution will create a more inclusive environment for all students, Mansfield said.   “The real take-home message is that diversity isn’t just about race in the US,” she said. “This initiative is not only meant to educate students, but to create a more inclusive atmosphere for hopefully all students.”   One concern that Mansfield had was that the resolution would create tensions between LGBTQ students and students with religious backgrounds that may not agree with the LGBTQ lifestyle.   “This isn’t meant to attack anyone’s religious beliefs,” Mansfield said. “This is meant to help eliminate the prejudices against queer members of our community and the world in general.”   The support for the resolution among students so far has been high, she said.   “It’s really encouraging to see that so many students think that this is an important issue,” Mansfield said. “I was afraid that there might be some religious backlash.”   Some students said they feel that LGBTQ issues are intriguing and expressed interest in learning about them.   “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes,” sophomore Victoria Diamond said. “It would make D1 classes a lot more interesting.”