American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Protests Passage of Texas SB 6

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ACPA is formally protesting the passage of Texas Senate Bill 6, citing its potentially negative impact on college students and ACPA members attending its annual convention in Houston, March, 2018.

We work with transgender students, faculty, staff and administrators every day. They make major contributions to campus life and to the well-being of our colleagues and students

The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) dba College Student Educators International has issued a formal protest to Texas Governor Greg Abbott regarding Texas Senate Bill 6 and its potential negative impact on college students and ACPA Convention attendees March 11-14, 2018.

This bill will require people to use the bathroom or locker room (changing facility) according to the sex assigned on their official birth certificates. It specifically requires higher education campuses and public K-12 schools, as well as charter schools, to comply.

ACPA withdrew its international Assessment Institute from Charlotte when similar legislation, HB2, passed in North Carolina during the same quarter as the planned Institute. http://www.meetings-conventions.com/News/Other-News/College-Personnel-Association-Pulls-North-Carolina-Event/

We are deeply concerned about the lives and educational opportunities of the estimated 19,600 college-aged students who will not be able to fully participate in their education if this bill progresses. Research shows that limiting access to restrooms creates health problems for transgender people and exposes them to harassment and bullying. http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/press/if-passed-texas-senate-bill-6-would-negatively-impact-over-125000-transgender-adults-in-texas-and-thousands-of-transgender-youth/#sthash.6qaCfakr.dpuf

The aggressive pursuit of the Texas Governor and Lieutenant Governer to pass SB6 limits our confidence that we can secure a safe and welcoming environment for our international convention scheduled in Houston in 2018. In addition, many of our members are state employees of public higher education systems throughout the USA. California and Massachusetts already have regulations preventing state employees from attending meetings in locations that have passed these egregious "bathroom" and related bills that discriminate directly against LGBT people.

ACPA Past-President Keith Humphrey, Vice President for Student Affairs Cal Poly said:

"As a long-tenured ACPA leader, it is very troubling to imagine that I may not be able to attend my national Convention due to the passage of SB6 in Texas. I understand and support California's regulations that will restrict my travel into a place where LGBT people are openly discriminated against and I am deeply saddened by the steady erosion of justice and fairness in some states within our nation."

Cindi Love continued:

"The Texas Senate is interfering with and potentially damaging our pre-existing contractual and business relationships within the State of Texas and with our members to whom we commit access to professional and career development. Our members will spend an estimated $1,240,000 on round trip fares to Houston, $90,000 on ground transportation, $1,860,000 on hotels and $939,000 on food and entertainment. ACPA will invest an average of $1,000,0000 on local arrangements. At minimum, $5,129,000 in revenue for Texas based companies is at risk and a material portion of our annual income is dependent on Convention. There are substantive penalties for withdrawal from our pre-existing contracts.

"We are counting on the people of Texas to care about visitors to the State and the negative effects of this proposed legislation on Texas business owners. We work with transgender students, faculty, staff and administrators every day. They make major contributions to campus life and to the well-being of our colleagues and students. They pose no threat to anyone. The reverse is true. When government sanctions discrimination against human beings, violence against those individuals increases. The aggressive pursuit by the Texas Governor and Senate to pass SB6 limits our confidence that we can provide a safe and welcoming environment for our international convention participants."

ACPA President Donna A. Lee stated:
We do not wish to bring economic harm to the State of Texas nor the City of Houston by withdrawing our Convention and ACPA is an association with a deep history grounded in social justice. We are committed to furthering an agenda grounded in equity, inclusion and human dignity.

Our Convention Team will be in Houston this month for planning and will evaluate the climate for our members and report back to our Governing Board. We need reassurance that our members will be welcomed, not only in the Convention facilities and hotels, but also in the restaurants, shopping centers, airport, taxis and entertainment facilities outside Convention.

We contracted with the City of Houston with the full faith and confidence that Texas citizens will do the right thing for all people and we ask these citizens to send a clear message to their elected representatives about fairness and justice in the Lone Star State.

For inquiries, please contact:

Cindi Love
(972) 358-5907

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Cindi Love
ACPA
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Mel Martinez
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