Harvard has an opportunity to lead the state and the nation in protecting against discrimination based on gender identity and expression. So far, only a handful of states have passed such provisions (Maine most recently joined the ranks), and Massachusetts is not among them, despite the fact that eight of its Congressional Representatives co-sponsored federal legislation, introduced to the House in May of this year, that would add gender identity and expression to existing hate crime laws. It would be wonderful to see the UC take up this fight.
Another item on my wish list—inspired by Annie Riley herself—might be a declaration supporting Harvard in making all the new buildings and facilities to be erected in Allston wheelchair-accessible. Harvard may very well already plan on doing this, but I think it would be great for the UC to publicly affirm its position, if for no other reason than to get students thinking about the issue of accessibility. I would say the UC should extend such a declaration to apply to all campus buildings, but I get the feeling it would probably just be wasting its collective breath on that. It’s easier, after all, to plan on building elevators and ramps (with sensible gradients!) into constructions starting from scratch than to add them to existing halls and houses.
All right, enough from me—what are some of y’all’s dream bills? UC reps, veterans, and affiliates: you guys have an inside look and thus have a different idea of what’s needed and what’s feasible. Share with us! Student group members and leaders: your endorsements gave clues as to which issues are hot for you right now, but how do you foresee those concerns translating into legislation? Anyone and everyone: what do you want to see happen between now and next December?