Legislation would allow collection of information on sexual orientation & gender identity
By a vote of 56-7-13, the full Assembly on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to better serve the LGBT community at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities by allowing demographic forms to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Having this information can help colleges and universities track enrollment, academic success and retention rates for LGBT students. This can help identify any areas of need, and ensure these students are getting the support services and resources necessary to thrive academically,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris).
The bill (A-3739) would require public institutions of higher education to allow students, faculty, and staff to identify their sexual orientation and gender identity on any forms used by the institution to collect demographic data on gender, race, or ethnicity.
“College should be a time of exploration and growth, not isolation,” said Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “It’s important to make sure that members of the LGBT community have the services they need to thrive and the best way to ensure that is to make sure students are fully accounted for.”
The bill specifies that the requirement is for all forms that are created or updated after the bill’s effective date. The institutions are not required to update any existing forms solely to comply with the new requirement.
The bill would take effect immediately upon enactment and first apply to the 2018-2019 academic year. The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration.