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Taking a Stance

Taking a Stance

ASWWU Senate Narrowly Passes LGBTQ+ Solidarity Bill 

By Matthew Peinado 

On Monday, March 28, ASWWU Senator Hayden Sherrill, a senior business major, proposed a vote on S.R. 7 – LGBTQ+ Solidarity. The bill is meant to be an official statement by ASWWU and by extension, the student body of Walla Walla University. The bill states that policies designed to discriminate against transgender and nonbinary students are “not acceptable.” The bill comes as a response to recent policies enacted by a Seventh-day Adventist university. [1] 

S.R. 7 also states, “it is important that ASWWU make clear its official position in solidarity and strength with LGBTQ+ members, independent of any condemnation or support of WWU policy, but in independent championship of our people. ” [2]  

In the appendix of the bill some goals, but not obligations, are listed for ASWWU and WWU. Increasing the budget and staff for the diversity and wellness team, encouraging students and staff to add pronouns in their email signatures and on the WWU website, starting discussions regarding “hypergendered”* ASWWU events, and increasing the amount of queer oriented events are among the recommendations made. [3] 

During the discussion of the bill before the vote, a senator brought up the concern that it is “one-sided” and may not fairly represent all the students of WWU. [4] In response, Sherrill said that he has not had any constituents address those concerns to him. Meanwhile, multiple LGBTQ+ constituents and those who consider themselves allies did ask for a piece of legislation like S.R. 7. [5] 

The bill was sponsored by nearly 1/3 of the senate and passed with one vote against and four abstentions.  

In an interview with The Collegian immediately after the first proposal of the bill, Sherrill said, “I created the bill after seeing what happened at Southern Adventist University. Seeing WWU make decisions based off of what other universities do, it inspired me.” After talking to LGBTQ+ constituents, representatives from diversity and wellness, and representatives from the University, Sherrill arrived at the finished piece of legislation. [6] 

* Hypergendered: “Relating to or exhibiting strict adherence to one’s traditional gender role or gender stereotypes.”[7] 

References 

1. Sherrill, H. (2022, February). S.R. 7 – LGBTQ+ Solidarity. ASWWU Senate. Retrieved from https://aswwu.com/pages/senate  

See Also
The Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center.

2-3. Ibid. 

4. Stated in ASWWU senate by Jacob Roney, 03/28/22. 

5. Sated in ASWWU senate by Hayden Sherrill, 03/28/22. 

6. Interview with Hayden Sherrill, 02/28/22. 

7. Google. (n.d.). Hypergendered Definition. Google search. https://bit.ly/36tYGSo   

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