From left: UC LGBT Task Force members Faith Cheltenham, Raja Bhattar, and Shannon Minter
Univ. of California Aims to Become More LGBT-Inclusive

By Eliel Cruz

Originally published on June 04 2014 2:30 PM ET

The University of California system aims to become more aware of issues facing LGBT students, faculty, and staff, so president Janet Napolitano Tuesday announced the formation of an advisory group to offer guidance on how to make the UC system more LGBT-friendly and inclusive. 

The President's Advisory Group on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues will work to realize the recommendations of the UC Task Force and Implementation Team on LGBT Climate & Inclusion, made Friday after the task force spent two years researching the campus climate for LGBT people. 

That task force made eight recommendations to the president, including the creation of a special subcommittee to convene on issues concerning bisexuals of the UC system.

Among the task force members are Faith Cheltenham, president of BiNet USA; Raja Bhattar, director of the UCLA LGBT Resource Center; and Shannon Minter, legal director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. 

"The task force definitely feels we were heard," cochair Ralph J. Hexter, UC Davis provost and executive vice chancellor, said in a statement Tuesday. "The university is showing its commitment to being a leader in LGBT issues."

The task force recommendations include:

The implementation of these suggestions could result in radically inclusive changes. The UC system has 10 campuses across the state, with a combined student body of more than 230,000, including a vibrant LGBT community. 

The goal of these changes is to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBT students, faculty, and staff of the entire University of California school system, according to Tuesday's announcement. That announcement did not include a specific timeline to implement the changes, but rather noted that Napolitano "will review the recommendations and respond at a future date."

Eliel Cruz