by Lisa Forest, Coordinator – GLBTA Pride Center
Initially, I was in favor of the proposed NASPA/ACPA consolidation. Pooling our collective resources seemed a far more efficient and effective strategy through which to advocate for the student affairs profession than needless redundancy and potential cross-purposes.
However, since participating in the webinar for ACPA members entitled, “Proposal for the Consolidation of ACPA & NASPA” presented by the ACPA/NASPA consolidation steering team, I became concerned that GLBT issues had somehow been rendered less integral to the mission of what is for now called the “New Association.” I sent each team member an email sharing my concerns and am pleased that others, too, have voiced the same concerns that I have. You can read about all of the concerns that others have posted on NASPA’s web site (http://www.naspa.org/consolidation/rev.cfm). My attempts to gain more information from the ACPA web site have resulted in Internal Server Errors, but, theoretically, information is located at (http://www2.myacpa.org/au/governance/unification.php).
Below are excerpts from the email I sent to the steering team members and reflect my two specific concerns:
1. I am concerned that the GLBT functional area/community of practice was eliminated. This is my functional area and is an expanding area in student affairs across the country and Canada. In fact, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education includes a GLBT area, and the Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals (http://www.lgbtcampus.org/) is an international organization that supports professionals who work in my field. I believe our work deserves representation in and support from the New Association.
2. I am concerned that transgender identities are not represented in the Social Identities Groups (SIGs). Neither the sexual orientation nor the gender social identities groups necessarily reflect transgender identities, therefore a transgender-specific SIG should be available. Not having a gender identity/expression group adds to the invisibility of this already under-represented population.
The steering team is collecting feedback and will revise the final consolidation proposal to reflect any changes immediately prior to the membership voting on it. Voting is scheduled to begin March 15 and will end April 15.
If you share any concerns about the current consolidation proposal, I urge you to post your thoughts to the NASPA blog (http://www.naspa.org/consolidation/blog.cfm) and/or directly email the steering team members. The members of the Consolidation Steering Team are: Elizabeth Griego, NASPA President; Susan Salvador, ACPA President; Patricia Telles-Irvin, NASPA President-Elect; Heidi Levine, ACPA Vice President; Mike Segawa, NASPA Past President; Tom Jackson, ACPA Past President; Diana Doyle, NASPA Past President; and Patty Perillo, ACPA Past President.