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Council Debates Transgender Discrimination

$100,000 to be Spent on New Workout Equipment for Malkin Athletic Center

By Laura E. Rosenbaum

The Undergraduate Council debated topics ranging from student fitness to student self-identity last night.

In a heated discussion, the Council addressed the non-discrimination policies of the University and the Council for over two hours last night.

In addition, they announced the purchase of $100,000 worth of new equipment for the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC) by an undisclosed donor.

The money will be used to buy cardiovascular equipment including Stairmasters and stationary bicycles. The MAC also plans to acquire new Cybex weight machines.

"The MAC received a $100,000 donation for equipment, to be used immediately," Ashley F. Waters '00 told the Council last night.

Students should see the new equipment in place this year, she said.

Waters said the new weight machines should be more "womenfriendly" because the Cybex machines are suited to both female and male lifters, unlike the current equipment.

According to Waters, Director of Athletics William J. Clearly and Associate Director of Athletics John E. Wentzell are currently deciding which equipment to purchase.

The committee which is in charge of allocating the funds is also considering endorsing additional renovations to the recreational athletic facilities.

These changes have not yet been disclosed.

Gender Identity

After the athletics funding announcement last night, the Council turned to a contraversial discussion about gender identity at Harvard.

The Council voted last night to "urge Harvard College, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University and Radcliffe College to incorporate gender identity into their respective non-discrimination clauses."

The Council also considered amending its own constitution to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

The results of this vote should be released soon.

Gender identity is the gender with which an individual identifies him or herself. This category includes transgender students--biological males who consider themselves to be female and behave as women, as well as hermaphrodites and transsexuals.

According to Alex S. Myers '00, who is openly transgender, this bill is needed because there is discrimination against people of non-traditional gender identities.

"I and others have received discrimination solely based on our gender identity," Myers said.

Many Council members supported Myers and the creators of the amendment.

"What we are saying is that transgendered people will be let into Harvard [and] will be let into the Undergraduate Council," said Daniel S. Quint '97. "I think that's something the entire student body would stand for."

However, several students vocally opposed the bill.

"I feel someone has to speak out to the fact that there are only boys and girls in this world," said Christopher M. Griffith '97. "Harvard cannot go against the rule of God or the rule of this country."

Others suggested that transgenderism may be a psychological disease.

Professional psychiatrists are Undecided on this issue.

Despite this opposition, the Council voted to support adding gender identity to the University's non-discrimination policies.

"This is a real pro-active type of legislation," said Lamelle D. Rawlins '99, Council president. "We are holding up transgenderism as something that needs to not be discriminated against.

Despite this opposition, the Council voted to support adding gender identity to the University's non-discrimination policies.

"This is a real pro-active type of legislation," said Lamelle D. Rawlins '99, Council president. "We are holding up transgenderism as something that needs to not be discriminated against.

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