Chapter 7: 
Campus Non Discrimination Policies
By Sam Paul
Introduction
such episodes at colleges and universities
across the United States. Campus surveys
While most of the over 3000 institutions
conducted during the late  80s and early
of higher learning across the U.S. have
 90s at Oberlin, Rutgers, Penn State, Yale
policies that address certain forms of dis 
and the University of Oregon suggest that
crimination (e.g. sexism, racism), rela 
these incidents are not isolated (see
tively few (approximately 200) explicitly
"Anti Gay/Lesbian Violence, Victimiza 
prohibit discrimination on the basis of
tion and Harassment in 1990," NGLTF
sexual orientation.  This section of
Policy Institute, 1991).  Furthermore,
NGLTF s Campus Organizing Manual
studies have shown campus services to be
provides background information and
inadequate and students often do not trust
guidance to lgbt activists seeking inclu 
them enough to seek assistance.  Conse 
sion of a sexual orientation clause in their
quently, students often fail to report inci 
campus anti discrimination policy state 
dents of harassment to campus police or
ments.  Organizing for such a policy may
to appropriate administrators.  Counsel 
result not only in greater protection for
ing, health, academic and other services
lgbt students, but also affords lgbt
are also frequently regarded as insensi 
activists an opportunity to organize and
tive, inappropriate and generally inade 
educate the campus community.  Even if
quate.
your school already prohibits discrimina 
tion based on sexual orientation, this sec 
Given the wide scope and serious conse 
tion contains useful information for orga 
quences of anti gay discrimination (e.g.,
nizing around other issues important to
dropping out, lowered grades and other
lgbt people on campus.
indicators of lost productivity in a hostile
work or learning environment), and the
Background
ongoing potential for such abuse in a
society where homophobia and hetero 
Both on campus and off, gay and lesbian
sexism are pervasive, it is vitally impor 
people routinely confront discrimination
tant that colleges and universities adopt
and harassment because of their sexual
policies that ban discrimination based on
orientation. In recent years, there has
sexual orientation.  Absent a clear, offi 
been a dramatic increase in reports of
cial statement on this matter, lgbt stu 
The late Sam Paul researched and wrote much of what follows, under the supervision of
Kevin Berrill, during a 1989 student internship at NGLTF.  The chapter has been updat 
ed by Curt Shepard, NGLTF Campus Organizer.
N o n   D i s c r i m i n a t i o n   P o l i c i e s     M     1 6 1






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