On Jan. 24, the Student Government senators voted 28 to 7 in favor of adopting a resolution condemning Senate Bill 6, or the “bathroom bill,” that was recently filed in the Texas Senate.
SB6 would impose a fine on individuals that enter a changing room or bathroom that does not correspond to the sex marker on their birth certificate, impose a fine on government buildings that don’t follow the legislation and create harsher punishments for crimes committed in bathrooms.
The legislation would cover government buildings and specifically state colleges and universities like UTD.
After Senator and Legislative Affairs Committee Head Christian Filsouf updated the audience on the proposed legislation, several senators and officers expressed their support of the resolution and criticism of SB6.
SG Vice President Joey Campaing also weighed in on the issue in the meeting.
“What this bill would do is put our transgender students in danger and harm them, and our job as SG is to protect our students on campus,” said Joey Campain, SG vice president.
“I think it’s really, really important to make a resolution addressing this bill. It will affect a lot of students,” said SG senator Nancy Fairbank.
After senators and officers spoke about their positions on the resolution and legislation, the floor was opened to visitor comments.
“I am a transgender man and I think one of the side effects of bills like SB6 is that it contributes to the problem of transgender people finding employment,” said Zackary Gentry, president of Pride at UTD.
Gentry went on to voice his opinion that if the bill passed, it would encourage discrimination and create logistical problems regarding restrooms.
According to several senators including Jason Waye and Christian Filsouf, the goal of the SG’s resolution condemning SB6 is to show support for transgender students, begin polling of UTD students and to work with the administration regarding the issue. After further discussion with the administration, SG will have a clearer path on how to approach the “bathroom bill.”
“If you want to be involved in this, student input is key,” Filsouf said.
Comment on the resolution is open to the public and should be directed at the legislative committee. SG senate committee meetings are held on alternating weeks from general meetings.