Chancellor Sartarelli’s Statement Regarding HB2 On Campus

Friday, April 08, 2016

Dear Campus Community:

As promised in my message of March 30, I wanted to share with you the guidance that has been issued to UNC campuses regarding the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.  This document was prepared by the Division of Legal Affairs at General Administration in consultation with chief legal officers and other staff from each campus.
In the document, you can read about our obligations when it comes to bathrooms and changing facilities. You will see the effective date of the act, and you will see an update on the federal lawsuit that is pending. I am appreciative of the work that has gone into this document and realize a number of questions remain to be answered. However, where I believe our attention belongs is on the very first bullet:
Does the Act require the University to change its nondiscrimination policies?
Answer: No.
UNCW will continue to be a campus devoted to inclusion, and the safety and well-being of our employees, students, and guests. If you feel you are being subjected to discriminatory or harassing behavior, please make use of the policies and remedial channels in place (below). They are here to serve you and to reassure you of our commitment to the values espoused in our Equal Opportunity Policy, as well as our aspirations in the Seahawk Respect Compact.
I have appreciated the feedback I've received on campus since last week's message, but more so I appreciate the opportunities you've given me to respond to your questions and concerns. These are difficult topics to discuss, but what I believe is the following: We can either put our heads in the sand and choose to ignore discomfort and unease, or we can engage in a dialogue that can only bring about increased awareness and acceptance of the diversity that helps make us who we are as a community. I choose the latter, and I hope you agree.
If ever in doubt about what UNCW stands for, reread #1 above. We are steadfast in our commitment to our non-discrimination policies. We hope to educate and potentially effect change through reflection, discussion, and action. I look forward to continuing on that path with all of you.
Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli
Relevant Policies:
For employees: university Equal Opportunity policy and the Harassment Prevention policy, aimed at preventing employee harassment or discrimination of any kind.
For students: policies within the Code of Student Life and the sexual misconduct policy, reflecting the values in the Seahawk Respect Compact.