UNC System President Will Enforce HB2 on Campuses
Margaret Spellings, the UNC system president, has given in to Governor McCrory's discriminatory law and has not protected the wishes of students or faculty. A loophole allows the UNC system to provide non-discrimination accommodations to its employees, but students are not protected.
"It’s incredibly disappointing that the University of North Carolina has concluded it is required to follow this discriminatory measure at the expense of the privacy, safety and wellbeing of its students and employees, particularly those who are transgender," the groups said in a joint statement. "By requiring people to use restrooms that do not correspond to their gender identity, this policy not only endangers and discriminates against transgender people, it also violates federal law."
HB2 spells out that the UNC system and the state Community College System are among the public agencies that must comply with the bathroom provision, so Spellings said campuses must label all multiple-occupancy bathrooms for single-sex use.
"Institutions may provide accommodations such as single-occupancy bathrooms or changing facilities and may designate those facilities as gender-neutral," Spellings wrote in her April 5 memo, adding that, "The Act does not contain provisions concerning enforcement of the bathroom and changing facility requirements."
She also noted in the memo that the law "does not require University institutions to change their nondiscrimination policies, and those policies should remain in effect."
UNC-Chapel Hill's policy includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Although HB2 allows agencies such as the university system to set policies for their own employees that exceed those in the state law, it's unclear whether students would be included in that loophole.
"Constituent institutions must continue to operate in accordance with their nondiscrimination policies and must take prompt and appropriate action to prevent and address any instances of harassment and discrimination in violation of University policies," Spellings wrote.